LTE / 4G subscriptions in India are forecast to increase by 150 million during 2019 and pass GSM / EDGE as the dominant technology, according to Ericsson Mobility Report | November 2019.
Mobile broadband technologies will account for 57 percent 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 percent.
LTE is forecast to represent 80 percent of mobile subscriptions by the end of 2025. 5G subscriptions are expected to become available in 2022 and will represent 11 percent of mobile subscriptions at the end of 2025.
Globally, there will be 13 million 5G subscriptions in 2019, the report said. There will be 2.6 billion 5G connections in 2025 — globally. Ericsson did not provide its forecast on 5G user base for India. The lack of investment in 5G network in India reflects the poor financial condition of Indian telecom operators such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and BSNL.
The average monthly mobile data usage per smartphone in India has seen an extraordinary increase in recent years, becoming the highest in the world. A key factor has been the rapid adoption of 4G.
Low prices for mobile broadband services, affordable smartphones and people’s changing video viewing habits have continued to drive monthly usage growth in India. Only 4 percent of households have fixed broadband, making smartphones the only way to access the internet in many cases.
Total traffic in India is projected to triple, reaching 22EB per month in 2025. This comes from two factors: high growth in the number of smartphone users and an increase in average usage per smartphone. A total of 500 million additional smartphone users are expected in India by 2025. The average monthly traffic per smartphone is expected to increase to around 24GB in 2025.
Middle East and Africa
At the end of 2019, around 25 percent of mobile subscriptions are expected to be for LTE in the Middle East and North Africa, while in Sub-Saharan Africa, LTE will account for around 11 percent of subscriptions.
82 percent of subscriptions in the Middle East and North Africa are expected to be for mobile broadband by 2025.
Sub-Saharan Africa mobile broadband subscriptions will increase to reach around 70 percent of mobile subscriptions.
LTE remains the dominant radio access technology in Latin America during the forecast period, accounting for 51 percent of subscriptions at the end of 2019 and 69 percent in 2025. A steady decline in WCDMA/HSPA is forecast as users migrate to LTE and 5G, falling from 36 to 13 percent.
The first 5G network deployments will be possible toward the end of 2019 in Latin America region, with Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico anticipated to be the first countries in the region to deploy 5G.
The 5G subscription uptake in Latin America is forecast to commence in 2020 and, by the end of 2025, 5G is set to make up 11 percent of mobile subscriptions.
North East Asia
The share of LTE subscriptions is expected to reach 88 percent in North East Asia at the end of 2019, with China alone having close to 1.4 billion LTE subscriptions.
South Korea launched 5G commercial services in April 2019. China launched 5G services in Q3 2019. Japan service providers are expected to launch commercial 5G services in 2020. 5G subscription penetration in North East Asia is projected to reach 56 percent.