Annual report from Nokia Networks’ MBit Index study’ reveals 74 increase in Mobile data traffic in India. In a country where more people access internet on their smartphones rather than on personal computers this is hardly surprising.
These growth stats include both – growths from 3G and 2G data users. Major contribution comes from 114 percent increase in 3G data usage, while 2G growth is also significant at 41 percent. In India, 3G users have finally surpassed 2G users in September 2014.
The study reveals that 3G data consumption was 52% of the total data consumption in December 2014 as compared to 42% in January, 2014. Also, 3G user consumed 3.2 times more data than a 2G user in 2014.
On an average 3G data use increased to 688 MB per month in 2014, indicating a 29% rise compared to 2013, while average 2G data use also increased to 216 MB per month, indicating a 48% rise.
Sandeep Girotra, Vice President and Head of India Region, Nokia Networks, said: “The 2014 study results clearly show the strong momentum of 3G in India, which has been the primary driver for the data traffic growth. A surge in 3G and 4G compatible Smartphone use underlines the greater need for operators to expand the 3G network coverage and selectively rollout 4G services for higher speeds across all the circles while modernizing the existing 2G networks.”
The study indicates that data operators shouldn’t ignore substantial 2G user base while improving 3G and 4G infrastructure. 3G data growth is driven by increase in 3G data consumption per user, but telecoms need to rope in more 3G subscribers for better growth.
India has about 130 mn active 3G capable devices but only 69.9 mn subscribers are active 3G users. Telecoms must provide lucrative offers to convert more 2G users to 3G. This also indicates significant opportunity for 3G in India.
The report also indicates that out of 5.5 mn 4G capable devices, only about 85,000 subscribers are using 4G LTE. This can be primarily attributed to lack of 4G infrastructure in the country, with Airtel being the sole LTE provider.