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India’s Mobile Data Consumption To Rise 5 Times By 2021

New Delhi: With rapid increase in the number of smartphones, average mobile data consumption per smartphone in India is expected to increase five times and account for 99 per cent of total traffic from mobile phones by 2021, as per a study by telecom gear maker Ericsson.

The Ericsson Mobility Report said that the mobile data traffic in India will grow 15 times by 2021, and despite being the most mature market, US mobile traffic will grow 50% in 2016 alone.

Mobile subscriptions reached 7.4 billion in the first quarter of 2016, and will grow at 5% annually to touch 9 billion by 2021. Mobile broadband subscriptions are growing by around 20 percent year-on-year, increasing by around 140 million in the first quarter, 2016, alone. This will grow to 7.7 billion by 2021, growing at 15% a year.

The growth in data consumption can also be attributed to rise in mobile applications usage and spread of high speed network.

“The WCDMA or HSPA (3G) population coverage is projected to increase to 90 per cent by the end of 2021, the population coverage of LTE (4G) networks in India is expected to reach 45 per cent by the end of 2021 in India,” Ericsson India Region Head Paolo Colella said.

The number of smartphone subscriptions in the country is expected to record a signifisignificant jump and touch 810 million by 2021.

As per the report, mobile phone users in India give more importance to voice than data services, indicating that it is smartphone users who drive the need for better data services and they are even ready to pay for good service.

Between 2015 and 2021, the number of Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices is expected to grow 23 percent annually, of which cellular IoT is forecast to have the highest growth rate. Of the 28 billion total devices that will be connected by 2021, close to 16 billion will be IoT devices.

“IoT is now accelerating as device costs fall and innovative applications emerge,” Rima Qureshi, Senior Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer, Ericsson, said.

Western Europe will lead the way in adding IoT connections – the number of IoT devices in this market is projected to grow 400% by 2021. This will principally be driven by regulatory needs, for example for intelligent utility meters, and a growing demand for connected cars, including the EU e-call directive to be implemented in 2018.

The global Ericsson Mobility Report released earlier this month stated that India grew the most in terms of mobile subscribers with over 21 million net additions in first quarter this year followed by Myanmar and Indonesia with over 5 million net additions, the US and Pakistan with over 3 million each.