3G Traffic Outpaces 2G In India: Nokia

by CXOtoday News Desk    Mar 09, 2016


Mobile broadband usage in India grew 50% during 2015 with 3G traffic outpacing 2G across the country for the first time, according to a report from Nokia. The growth was fuelled by growing subscriber appetite for multimedia services with video and social networking now constituting 60 per cent of data traffic.

The MBiT Index study, which tracks mobile broadband performance in India, found that the 3G traffic in India grew by 85% on the back of network expansion, device availability and improved content ecosystem. Further, 3G data usage per user per month crossed 750 MB.This was the result of a mature network, device and content ecosystem. 3G device penetration more than doubled during the year while new network launches and expansions in existing circles boosted data adoption beyond larger towns and cities.

“We have seen about 85 per cent growth in 3G data consumption and India is now moving close to global average consumption per person. In India, it has reached to 753 MB data per month, while globally, it is in range of 800 MB to 1GB,” Nokia Vice President and Head of India market, Sandeep Girotra said in a statement.

Consumption of 3G data across India peaked to 82 petabytes (PB) or 8.2 crore gigabyte per month at the end of 2015 compared to 44 PB a month at the end of 2014, as per the study. However, 2G mobile internet usage grew only by 12 per cent to 46 PB from 41 PB a month between 2015 and 2014.

“Appetite for data consumption is very huge in India. That is evident from this study,” Nokia, Head of technology for India, Amit Marwah told PTI.

Nokia compiles MBiT study from data usage pattern recorded at network managed by it in India. Nokia says that it manages 2.3 lakh mobile sites in the country carrying traffic of about 28 crore mobile customers. According to the study, there has been an eight-fold boom in mobile device ecosystem for 4G services that will set stage for data traffic growth in 2016.

“There are 47 million 4G enabled devices now active in market but only few of them have 4G connection,” Marwah said. 3G devices penetration have grown by 140 per cent and subscribers by 69 per cent on year-on-year basis.

Around 38-42% of mobile data is spent on video and audios service access by users, 18-22% on social networking, 1-20% cent on communication services and 20-24 per cent for other services. Consumption of data usage patterns in India different from those in developed market where applications like video with high bandwidth consumption are used on wifi network but in India they are mostly accessed using mobile data, the study said.

According to the study, an average users spend 20-25 minutes per day on messaging applications and 40% of total time spent on them is for internet based applications. Average usage of messaging application in India is in-line with global benchmarks of 18 minutes per day spent by average user on WhatsApp.

“Around 43 per cent mobile internet users in India access Facebook at least once a month and 90 per cent Facebook users are on mobile,” Marwah told the agency.

Girotra believes aggressive 3G network expansion in existing circles and new launches by operators have been instrumental in increasing data traffic in India. He said, “It is expected that this data traffic growth will be boosted in coming years by the auction of additional spectrum, an increase in smartphone penetration and the development of the content ecosystem.”

The study further noted, 4G LTE device ecosystem will continue to grow with decline in device prices, thus giving operators the opportunity to monetize quickly as they launch 4G LTE networks in the coming months.