High-speed mobile broadband technology 4G drove data traffic across India in 2016, making up 60 per cent of incremental data volumes, according to a Nokia study.
Nokia’s annual Mobile Broadband Index study of mobile broadband performance in India revealed that “4G was the major source of data traffic across the country in 2016, with 60 per cent of the incremental data pay load from 2015 levels contributed by 4G”.
Though 4G coverage is yet to penetrate across all circles, it contributed to 13 per cent of the total data traffic pan-India in span of a year since launch. The study further said that in metros alone, where the majority of 4G deployments have taken place, the contribution of 4G to data traffic was 26 per cent. 3G continued with its growth trend, contributing to 63 per cent of total data payload.
Nokia said data analysis was carried out on the exit figures for December, and contribution from Reliance Jio is excluded. According to the study, the monthly 4G data usage per user was nearly twice the average consumption of 3G. The 4G monthly data usage per subscriber was over 1,400 MB compared to nearly 850 MB per subscriber for 3G, primarily driven by faster download speeds over 4G networks and larger screen with higher resolution of 4G devices that accelerates data consumption.
The 4G monthly data usage per subscriber was over 1,400 MB compared to nearly 850 MB per subscriber for 3G, primarily driven by faster download speeds over 4G networks and larger screen with higher resolution of 4G devices that accelerates data consumption.
The 4G-enabled device ecosystem also grew tremendously supported by affordable devices, resulting in 2.7 times growth in a year. Together, 4G and 3G contributed to 76 per cent of the data traffic across India. The report also noted that 2G saw a drop in volumes by 13 per cent, but remains the main carrier for voice telephony.
The data consumption among subscribers was largely driven by social media and messaging applications which engaged users for the maximum time, with nearly 90 per cent of the users accessing it through their mobile devices.
Video content remained the main growth engine for data traffic, contributing up to 65 per cent of total mobile data
As 4G and 3G technology usage increases, service providers will need to improve capacity through site connectivity to fiber and use of optical fibre backhaul as an efficient and higher capacity data transfer solution, the study said.
“India is on the cusp of a formidable growth in mobile broadband technologies. Network expansion of 4G and 3G and a corresponding drop in prices of devices is fueling the growth of mobile broadband in the country,” Sanjay Malik, Head of India Market, Nokia said.