Nokia Reveals 5G Networks Power Just 15% of Data Usage in India

Nokia’s Mobile Broadband Index (MBiT) for India has revealed that 5G networks across the country are powering just 15 percent of the total data traffic.
5G data traffic in India 2023 Nokia reportInterestingly, the recent TRAI report said 4G networks are powering almost of 100 percent of India’s mobile data traffic. TRAI’s report did not even mention about 5G.

Nokia’ report said India boasts a staggering 131 million 5G subscribers, with projections indicating an expected surge to 575 million by the year 2026. Anticipated 5G data usage by 2026 is predicted to soar to a staggering 310 EB per annum.

India’s leading telecommunications operators, including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and BSNL, have been at the forefront of technology revolution. However, the report remains silent on the specifics of the investment made by Indian telecoms in 5G networks and their corresponding coverage.

According to data from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Nokia disclosed that the number of 5G base transceiver stations (BTS) surged from 54,000 in January 2023 to a remarkable 412,000 by the end of the same year.


5G networks of telecom operators have powered 14.8 percent of India’s data traffic in 2023, a significant jump from 1.7 percent in 2022. Particularly in metropolitan areas, 20 percent of the data traffic is now fueled by the 5G network. Moreover, approximately 17 percent of 4G devices in the country are deemed capable of handling 5G data.
5G sites in India Noka report
A revelation from the report is that users of 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) consume approximately 2.5 times more data compared to conventional 5G users. Since its inception in October 2022, 5G users have been utilizing approximately 3.6 times more mobile data traffic compared to 4G. In 2023 alone, users devoured a staggering 17.4 exabytes per month, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 26 percent over the past five years.

Furthermore, the report indicates a robust CAGR of 21.1 percent in mobile data consumption per user per month over the last five years, reaching an average of 24.1 GB in 2023. This represents a 24 percent year-on-year growth. Looking ahead, it is expected that the average monthly data per user will escalate to 28-30 GB by the end of 2024.

Nokia predicts that the enhanced availability and performance of 5G networks, alongside the proliferation of affordable devices and the introduction of new data-intensive applications and services, will serve as catalysts for future 5G growth.

Additionally, the report forecasts a significant evolution in the 5G device ecosystem in India, with approximately 17 percent of active 4G devices now being 5G-capable, amounting to 134 million out of 796 million devices.

Nokia MBiT 2024 report highlights the transformative shifts in technology anticipated leading up to 2030. This includes advancements in the Metaverse, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML), Cloud computing, and Web 3.0, among other pivotal developments, paving the way for a digitized and programmable world filled with new opportunities.

Baburajan Kizhakedath