The latest Ericsson Mobility Report June 2019 indicates that 5G in India will take at least three years to take off, while 4G will become dominant in the next five years.
5G subscriptions in India will be available in 2022 and will represent 6 percent of mobile subscriptions in 2024.
This indicates that telecom operators such as Airtel, BSNL, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio will take a go-slow approach in the case of 5G. India government is currently preparing to start 5G spectrum auction.
LTE accounted for 38 percent of mobile subscriptions in India. Mobile Internet technologies now make up more than 50 percent of subscriptions. 4G / LTE is forecast to represent 82 percent of mobile subscriptions in 2024 – in India.
The report said India’s mobile market fell by 14 million in 2018 — due to the introduction of a minimum regular recharge amount by some large operators, to tackle low-paying users and increase average revenue per user (ARPU).
GSM/EDGE-only remained the dominant technology during 2018, accounting for 47 percent of mobile subscriptions, in India region.
Globally, mobile data traffic grew 82 percent in the first quarter of 2019 — mainly driven by the increased number of smartphone subscriptions in India and increased data traffic per smartphone per month in China.
Ericsson said India has the highest average monthly usage, reaching 9.8 GB by the end of 2018. Increased numbers of LTE subscriptions, attractive data plans being offered by service providers and young people’s changing video viewing habits have driven monthly usage growth.
In North East Asia, traffic per smartphone also grew strongly during 2018, and the region has the second-highest monthly usage, averaging 7.1GB. Attractive data plans, as well as innovative mobile apps and content, have pushed up monthly mobile data usage, particularly in China.
The coverage of LTE network globally increased 10 percent in 2018, reaching around 750 million more people. The largest share of this increase came in India. The report said India now has around 90 percent population coverage. Global LTE population coverage is forecast to reach around 90 percent in 2024 from around 75 percent in 2018.