4G coverage to reach 45% Indian population in 2021: Ericsson

Reliance Jio 4G plan
The population coverage of LTE networks in India is expected to reach 45 percent in 2021, said the Ericsson Mobility Report released on Tuesday.

“On the other hand, WCDMA / HSPA population coverage is projected to increase to 90 percent by the end of 2021, said Paolo Colella, region head for Ericsson in India.

Top Indian telecom operators with 4G presence include Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone, BSNL and Reliance Jio Infocomm.

By the year 2021, India’s smartphone subscription is expected to be 810 million, which is four times the subscriber base in 2015.

Total mobile traffic will grow 15-fold from the year 2015 to 2021, said a statement issued by Swedish communication technology major Ericsson.

Data traffic per active smartphone is expected to increase 5-fold from 1.4 GigaByte (GB) per month in 2015 to 7GB per month by 2021. In 2021, 99 percent of the region’s mobile traffic will be from data.

The GSM/EDGE (2G) subscriber base in India is expected to grow until 2016 and expected to decline thereafter due to operator initiatives to migrate 2G subscribers to 3G, decreasing handset prices and bundling of data with devices.

The WCDMA/HSPA and LTE (3G and 4G) networks are expected to gain momentum, and the subscriptions will together account for 65 percent of Indian subscriptions by 2021.

As per the report, Indian smartphone users rate data as more important than voice, indicating the strong uptake of data services in the country.

Young smartphone users aged 15-24 years old drive the need for better data speed and data coverage and have a higher inclination to pay a premium for the same.

Over 70 percent of smartphone users are satisfied with the network performance at home while doing instant messaging, web browsing or social networking using mobile internet.

Over 60 percent of smartphone users are satisfied with the network performance at home while streaming videos using mobile internet. However, only 50 percent are satisfied with network performance for streaming videos on a smartphone while commuting.