Ericsson Mobility Report Predicts Massive Growth in India’s Monthly Smartphone Data Traffic


Ericsson has released Ericsson Mobility Report 2017, India Annexure, which shows key trends and forecasts on mobile traffic, subscriptions, consumer behavior and technology uptake in India.

As per the report, the data traffic per Smartphone user in India will grow to 11 GB per month by 2022 while the total mobile data traffic in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 40 percent, reaching almost 8 Exabytes of data per month compared to around 1 EB of data consumption by the end of 2016.

This massive growth in data traffic is fueled by fast-paced smartphone adoption, changing user behavior and disruptive pricing strategies of operators. Increased distribution and consumption of video and multimedia services as well as the growth in mobile banking transactions and digital payments are also fueling the data traffic in the country. By the Year 2022 , 97 per cent of mobile data traffic will be smartphone traffic .

Increasingly, data is generating far more traffic than voice calls. The interest in video streaming continues to grow. Today, consumers are increasingly watching videos on their smartphones. Social media services and apps, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, are no longer used solely to post and share messages, but to stream videos as well. The ability to watch live broadcasts of user-generated and professional content on existing apps has also increased the appeal of live streaming.

Growing smartphone penetration and rapidly changing data usage patterns have focused attention on network performance in India. Indian Smartphone owners have devised their own mental indices to measure and evaluate network performance.

Top four indicators consumers use to judge network performance in India include : Time taken to upload pictures to social media ; time taken to open a web page ; time taken for a video to buffer or load and download time for email attachments . For 40 per cent of 4G users, video loading and video buffering while streaming is the main index by which they judge network performance. For almost half of 3G users, the time taken to load a web page is the prime indicator of a positive experience. Consumers 4G usage behavior is skewed towards data centric services .4G users are nearly 1.5 times more satisfied than 3G users in India .

States Nitin Bansal, Head of Network Products, Ericsson India said, “As new apps continue to emerge and usage behavior evolves, network performance will play an even bigger role in determining smartphone users’ loyalty towards their operators. In fact , Mobile broadband experience in India is five times more effective in driving loyalty than tariff structure and pricing.”

GSM remained the dominant technology in 2016, accounting for over 70 percent of total mobile subscriptions. LTE and WCDMA/HSPA technologies are together expected to represent 85 percent of all Indian subscriptions by 2022, while 5G subscriptions are forecast to become available only in 2022, representing 0.2 percent of total mobile subscriptions reaching 3 million. As of 2016, there were 23 million cellular IoT connections; by 2022 this is estimated to reach 191 million. Driving this growth is the government’s Digital India vision; its focus on Smart Cities and villages, new use cases for IoT, and the launch of 5G.

In 2017 , smartphone subscriptions in India are expected to represent 30 per cent of all mobile subscriptions. By 2022 , this number is expected to reach over 60 per cent . By this time , smartphone subscriptions are set to reach 890 Million. India’s mobile subscription base crossed 1.2 Billion mark in January 2017 . Total mobile subscriptions are estimated to increase by 4 per cent per year , exceeding 1.4 Billion in 2022.

As per the just released Ericsson Global Mobility Report 2017, VoLTE subscriptions are projected to reach 4.6 billion by the end of 2022. By this time , the VoLTE subscriber base in India is pegged at 370 million . “VoLTE represents a great opportunity for telecom operators in India who are looking to route voice calls over 4G LTE networks enabling lower cost per minute for voice calls as well as free up legacy spectrum bands for re-farming” states Mr Bansal. The introduction of VoLTE will unleash a superior experience for users by enabling high quality voice and video calling as well as other rich communication services from their device’s native dialer with no need of additional applications.

Ericsson provides an end-to end VoLTE calling offering, including IMS, LTE-RAN, Evolved Packet Core, Mobile Switching, subscriber data management, BSS/OSS and professional services. Ericsson’s VoLTE solutions are designed to help telecom operators leverage an all-IP based network architecture to ensure improvement in voice quality by enabling services such as HD voice, enhanced HD voice, video calling, multi device and call enrichment amongst others.