‘India to have 330 mn 5G connections by 2026’

4G count to touch 830 mn: Ericsson

5G will represent about 26% of mobile subscriptions in India at the end of 2026 with an estimated subscription base of 330 million, according to Ericsson Mobility Report.

At least 40 million mobile users could take up 5G in the first year of it being introduced in the country.

Also, 4G subscriptions are expected to rise from 680 million in 2020 to 830 million in 2026, increasing at a CAGR of 3%.

4G remained the dominant technology in 2020, accounting for 61% of mobile subscriptions and will continue to be dominant, representing 66% of mobile subscriptions in 2026, with 3G being phased out by that time, as per the report.

The number of smartphone subscriptions, that stood at 810 million in 2020, was expected to grow at a CAGR of 7%, touching more than 1.2 billion by 2026. They accounted for 72% of total mobile subscriptions in 2020 and are projected to constitute over 98% in 2026, driven by rapid smartphone adoption in the country.

“COVID-19 has accelerated India’s digital transformation as consumers increasingly rely on digital services – be it digital payments, remote health consultations, online retail or video conferencing – to fulfill their business or personal needs,’’ said Nitin Bansal, head of Ericsson India and head of network solutions for Southeast Asia , Oceania and India, Ericsson.

Accordingly, the average monthly mobile data usage per smartphone continued to show robust growth, boosted by people increasing their smartphone usage while staying at home, he added.

As a result, the average traffic per smartphone user in India has increased from 13GB per month in 2019 to 14.6GB per month in 2020. The average traffic per smartphone in the country stands second highest globally and is projected to grow to around 40GB per month in 2026.

Total mobile data traffic in India has grown from 6.9EB/month to 9.5EB/month in 2020 and is projected to increase by more than four times to reach 41EB/month in 2026.

As per the study, this is driven by two factors: high growth in the number of smartphone users, including growth in rural areas, and an increase in average usage per smartphone.

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