India Had 335 Mn 4G Smartphones By 2018

The total number of 4G smartphones in the country rose to 335 million at the end of December 2018 contributing around 52% of the total number of smartphones, a new study by Nokia said.

The 4G smartphones constituted 52% of the total smartphone numbers rising from 22% in 2017, the report added. It also said that of all the 4G smartphones around 83% are capable of VoLTE enabled – phones that allow voice communication over LTE network.

The report, named Nokia MBiT Index 2019, said 4G or the fourth generation technology that became mainstream post the launch of Reliance Jio has contributed almost all the data traffic generated in 2018. To be precise 92% data traffic generated in 2018 came from 4G services.

On a year on year basis, data traffic grew 109% in 2018 as against 2017 purely on the back of exponential growth in 4G, the report added. Of all the data consumption, video contributed almost 80% of it with regional content driving the video consumption across the country.

The average data usage per user per month grew by 69% in 2018 to touch 10GB and the number of subscribers grew 137% during the year long period. The year saw widespread migration from 2G and 3G to 4G leading to this growth. The report said by the end of December 2018, India had 500 million broadband users with 4G data users reaching to 432 million. 3G constituted around 74 million data users during the studied period.

The 4G data growth was also fuelled by the rise of 4G capable smartphones during the year. At the end of 2018, India had 530 million smartphones, as per the Nokia MBiT report. Of these 335 million are 4G smartphones.

“The significant increase of data consumption in India is a positive development and will be a key factor in the overall social and economic growth of the country. The surge in broadband consumption is likely to continue in the next few years since the current broadband penetration is just 45% in the country. Further, the growth will be fueled by 4G network expansions as telcos enhance the coverage and provide better network experience to the end consumer. Going forward, the service providers will need to expand the 4G network and evolve their network infrastructure to support 5G in near future,” said Sanjay Malik, Head of India Market, Nokia.

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