New Delhi: Total mobile data traffic is expected to triple in India, reaching 22 exabytes (EB) per month, driven by high growth in the number of smartphone users and an increase in average usage per smartphone, according to an Ericsson report on Monday.
One EB is equivalent to one billion gigabytes (GB).
In India, the average monthly mobile data usage per smartphone has seen an extraordinary increase in recent years, becoming the highest in the world, according to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report.
"Low prices for mobile broadband services, affordable smartphones and people's changing video viewing habits have continued to drive monthly usage growth in the region," Nitin Bansal, Ericsson's Head of Network Solutions for the market area Southeast Asia, Oceania and India, said in a statement.
As the transformation towards more advanced technologies continues in India, LTE (4G) is forecast to represent 80 per cent of mobile subscriptions by the end of 2025.
LTE subscriptions are forecast to increase by 150 million during 2019 and pass GSM/EDGE as the dominant technology, said the report.
"Modernising existing networks, improving network performance and increasing user experience continue to be at the core of every service provider's day-to-day business, both in India as well as globally," Bansal said.
Mobile broadband technologies will account for 57 per cent of mobile subscriptions at the end of the year, and the share of smartphone subscriptions is expected to have increased from 48 percent to 54 per cent. By 2025, 500 million additional smartphone users are expected in India, according to the report.
Fifth generation (5G) subscriptions are expected to become available in India from 2022 and will represent 11 per cent of mobile subscriptions by the end of 2025.
Globally, 5G will cover up to 65 per cent of the world's population by the end of 2025 and handle 45 per cent of global mobile data traffic, said the report.
Leading communications service providers in Asia, Australia, Europe, Middle East, and North America switched on their 5G networks in 2019.
South Korea has already seen a big 5G uptake since its April 2019 launch. More than three million subscriptions were collectively recorded by the country's service providers by the end of September 2019.
China's launch of 5G in late October has also led to an update of the estimated 5G subscriptions for year-end 2019, from 10 million to 13 million.
"It is encouraging to see that 5G now has broad support from almost all device makers. In 2020, 5G-compatible devices will enter the volume market, which will scale up 5G adoption," said Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson.