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5G will represent around 26% of mobile subscriptions in India by 2026: Ericsson report

Nearly 67 per cent users have expressed an intention to take up 5G connectivity when it starts rolling out in India, shows an Ericsson survey

By: Tech Desk | Chandigarh |
June 16, 2021 5:31:38 pm
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Nearly 67 per cent users, who participated in a survey, have expressed an intention to take up 5G connectivity when it starts rolling out in India, according to Ericsson’s annual Mobility report. It expects around 40 million smartphone subscribers in India to take up 5G in the first year of its rollout in the country.

The network equipment provider expects 5G to start rolling out in India by the second half of 2021. Players like Jio, Airtel and Vodafone are all currently testing their 5G networks in the country.

Ericsson predicts that 5G or the fifth generation of mobile broadband will represent around 26 percent of mobile subscriptions in India by the end of 2026, which is estimated at about 330 million subscriptions.

The report shows that currently India has the second highest average monthly data consumption on a smartphone at nearly 14.6GB by the end of 2020. It expects this number to rise sharply to nearly 40GB per month on average by the end of 2026. The survey also showed that 50 per cent of consumers are using their smartphones for more than four hours per day, with video, social networking and gaming dominating the use cases.

“The key trends are showing the need for 5G in India and the fact that people are very interested and they are actually waiting for 5g to be deployed in India. Based on the surveys, what we found was that 21 per cent of smartphone users that we surveyed already have a 5G capable device,” Nitin Bansal, MD, India & Head-Networks, South East Asia, Oceania and India at Ericsson said during a press briefing.

He added that they expect 5G to drive further changes in the user behaviour as current 4G users who own a smartphone are spending more time on enhanced video and multi-player gaming. The trend is that the smartphone users in India are using it beyond just data and voice, and therefore with 5G, it expects this kind of consumption to increase given the faster networks.

“The other thing that came out quite clearly was interest around Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) and 5G, and this included two categories of users. One is those who are using 4G today for broadband connectivity at home, and two are those using fiber connectivity at home. We saw there was an interest from both these groups of subscribers to evolve to 5G,” Bansal added.

Regarding user expectations, seven out of 10 expect higher speeds with 5G, while six out of ten expect pricing innovation in the form of bundling with other digital services. Further, Ericsson’s data showed that consumers in India, among those surveyed, were willing to pay 50 per cent more for 5G plans and bundled plans with digital services.

The existing numbers

According to the report, 4G subscriptions in India are expected to rise from 680 million in 2020 to 830 million in 2026. In 2020, 4G was the dominant technology, accounting for 61 per cent of mobile subscriptions, which Ericsson predicts will continue to rise and account for nearly 66 per cent subscriptions by 2026. It also expects the older 3G technology to be phased out by then.

Ericsson notes that “COVID-19 has accelerated India’s digital transformation as more and more consumers rely on digital services – be it digital payments, remote health consultations, online retail or video conferencing – to fulfill their business or personal needs.”

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