With the increasing number of smartphone devices in India along with the increase in the usage of mobile data, Ericsson is now planning to start offering two new network solutions for 3G and 4G to Indian telcos by the second half of this year. According to Ericsson's study, the mobile broadband user base in India is estimated to further increase four times in the next six years.
According to Ajay Gupta, vice president and head of strategy and marketing for Ericsson, the company estimates that India's mobile subscriber base will grow from 795 million in 2013 to 1,145 million subscribers by 2020. Simultaneously, smartphone penetration will grow from 10% (or 90 million devices) in 2013 to 45% (or 520 million devices), against 50 billion global connected devices by 2020. He further added, "We also expect to see 3G SIMs to grow from 70 million SIMs today to 400 million SIMs by 2020, and 4G SIMS should number 100 million in the same period."
Thus with the rapid shift in focus from voice to data by Indian telcos, 3G subscribers can soon look forward to an improved mobile streaming and surfing experience. Also to meet the same end, operators are reportedly carrying out operations to improve quality of the 3G network that has been inconsistent, switching between 3G and 2.5G even four years after 3G was launched in India in 2010.
Currently, if the average users are to be taken into account, they consume 155MB of data individually, which could increase to 390MB by 2017 and 620MB by 2020, according to the same report.
Reports online also suggest that social media makes up to one-third of all mobile broadband data traffic at 15% is expected to drive 3G usage going forward. This will be closely followed by browsing at 11%, app downloads at 11%, chat at 7% and video at 4%, as per the report by Ericsson.
With the increase in the hardware or smartphone penetration estimated for the coming years, the internet consumption and 3G or 4G reach will also catch pace.