Nokia Networks released today MBit Index study at an event in New Delhi. This is the fourth edition of the Nokia Networks MBit Index study. It evaluates 2G, 3G and overall data traffic growth trends at pan-India and at a circle category level, data consumption per user on 2G and 3G and deep 3G coverage across circle categories in India – between January and December 2014.
The Nokia Study reveals a 74% increase in mobile data traffic generated by both 2G and 3G mobile broadband services at the end of 2014, compared to the beginning the same year. This rise was primarily driven by a strong 3G growth with 114% increase, while the 2G data traffic growth was reported to be 41%.
The Nokia Study further states that 3G data consumption was 52% of the total data consumption in December 2014 as against 42% in January 2014. September 2014 witnessed 3G data consumption surpassing 2G use across India. On an average 3G data use increased to 688 MB per month in 2014, indicating a 29% jump compared to 2013. On an average 2G data use also increased to 216 MB per month, indicating a 48% jump, and improvements in 2G network quality for mobile broadband access. Also on an average a 3G user consumed 3.2 times more data than a 2G user in 2014. The study also revealed an increase in the Smartphone use in 2014, as consumers increasingly migrated to smart devices due to their affordability.
The findings of this Study can be utilised by network operators in India to tap more 3G data subscribers in newer geographies with a special focus on B and C circles. Specialized 3G services plans can be launched for Smartphone users to promote 3G data consumption. India has about 130 million active 3G capable devices but only 69.9 million subscribers are active 3G users. It indicates a significant opportunity for further 3G penetration in the country.
The other significant factor pointed out is that 4G network in India is in its nascent stage, but the country already has 5.5 million 4G capable devices but only about 85,000 subscribers are active LTE users. Of late, many affordable 4G compatible devices have been launched in India. It indicates another significant opportunity for selective rollout of 4G networks and services in the country.