New Delhi: Bolstered mostly by the adoption of 4G connectivity in India, data traffic surged by 109 percent last year, a study reveals. The average data usage climbed by 69 percent last, touching 10 GB per user each month in December, Nokia’s annual Mobile Broadband India Traffic (MBiT) Index study of mobile broadband performance in the country says. However, increasing 4G usage has led to a marginal decline in 3G data traffic for 2018.
“By the end of 2018, there were more than five times as many 4G subscribers as there were 3G subscribers. A significant drop in data tariffs, coupled with the availability of economical 4G devices, led to the growth of the number of 4G subscribers by 137 per cent,” the study said.
“Further, the growth will be fuelled 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,”
“Further, the widespread migration of users from 3G to 4G devices also contributed to the increase in the consumption of 4G data traffic in the country.”
Video streaming apps grow in small towns
An increasing number of Indians are using broadband services on mobile for the first time, becoming more aware of the numerous possibilities of broadband in the country, the study said. Video streaming and media apps became more popular in smaller cities and towns, which experienced the highest increase in 4G traffic in last year.
“This growth is led by the growing popularity of video streaming and video content in local languages on the various over-the-top (OTT) applications. The emergence of new media apps, like TikTok, has further led to an increase in video consumption. As the popularity of video streaming increases, telcos will need to provide better coverage and capacity in the rural sector as well,” it said.
Broadband consumption will continue to rise
With the current broadband reach being only 45 percent, the rise in broadband consumption is expected to continue in India in the coming years, Sanjay Malik, Head of India market at Nokia, said.
“Further, the growth will be fuelled 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,” Malik said.