Data traffic in India increased 47 percent in 2019 driven by 4G consumption, Nokia’s annual Mobile Broadband India Traffic Index (MBiT) – a study of mobile broadband performance in India – revealed.
4G constituted 96 percent of the total data traffic consumed across the country while 3G data traffic registered 30 percent drop.
The average monthly data usage per user surpassed 11 GB in December growing 16 percent annually due to increase in upgradation of the 4G network, low data prices, affordable smartphones, and the popularity of videos.
The number of 4G handsets devices grew 1.5x to reach 501 million units.
The growth in video was fuelled by the increasing number of Over-the-Top (OTT) platforms with over 30 platforms in India, easy availability of regional content, aggressive distribution strategy, and innovations like sachet pricing and mobile-only packs by OTT players. The time spent on OTT platforms in India is 70 minutes per day.
India data traffic recorded a growth of 44 times in the last four years, from 2015-19, which is one of the highest in the world.
The number of Voice over LTE (VoLTE) smartphones grew to 432 million.
Broadband penetration is 47 percent, which is significantly lower than China (95 percent) and other European nations at around 95-115 percent.
The growth in absolute data traffic of 2309 PB in 2019 is similar to 2539 PB in 2018.
Sanjay Malik, head of India Market, Nokia said: “The Indian telcos will need to consider other connectivity solutions to leverage the new opportunities and to address the growing data consumption.”