India To Have 810 Million Smartphone Subscriptions By 2021: Ericsson Report

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According to Ericsson Mobility Report India edition, which was released today, shows key trends and forecasts on mobile traffic, subscriptions, consumer behavior and technology uptake specific to India. As per the report, the total number of mobile subscriptions in India is expected to reach approximately 1.37 billion by 2021.

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The GSM/EDGE subscriber base is expected to grow until 2016 and expected to decline thereafter due to operator initiatives to migrate 2G subscribers to 3G, decreasing handset prices and bundling of data with devices. The WCDMA/HSPA and LTE (3G and 4G) networks are expected to gain momentum, and the subscriptions will together account for 65 percent of Indian subscriptions by 2021.

Mobile broadband is set to dramatically increase, with smartphone subscriptions and total mobile traffic expected to increase four-fold and fifteen-fold respectively from 2015 to 2021 – reaching 810 million smartphone subscriptions and mobile traffic of 4.5 ExaBytes (EB) per month. Data traffic per active smartphone is expected to increase five-fold from 1.4 GigaByte (GB) per month in 2015 to 7 GB per month by 2021. In 2021, 99 percent of the region’s mobile traffic will be from data.

Some interesting data points from the study:  

Music viewing more popular in India: In India, streaming music and watching videos are the most popular forms of entertainment on smartphones. Around 50 percent of smartphone users stream music on mobile apps every week, and more than one in two internet users watch short online video clips on a weekly basis.

E-commerce apps growing in popularity: Among Indian smartphone users, WhatsApp Messenger is the top mobile app, in terms of the number of Indian consumers, followed by Google Search and YouTube. E-commerce apps such as Flipkart, Paytm and Snapdeal are growing in popularity in India.

Internet activity is catching up with global levels: In India, one out of three internet users goes online daily, compared to almost half globally.5 However, the nation’s internet usage is catching up, and those aged 16–34 years old have a high dependence on online access. The population coverage of LTE networks in India is expected to reach 45 percent by the end of 2021, from around 15 percent at the end of 2015

Data gaining prominence over voice for smartphone users in India as Data speed is considered as the most important factor in determining both network performance and smartphone users’ satisfaction with their operator

Among Indian smartphone users, WhatsApp Messenger is the top mobile app, in terms of the number of Indian consumers, followed by Google Search and YouTube

Internet users and smartphone owners aged 15–24 years old are more interested in connecting devices than those who are older.

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