Mobile subscribers in India to surpass 500 mn in 2015: GSMA

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The number of unique mobile subscribers in India is forecast to surpass 500 million in 2015 and reach 734 million by 2020 from 453 million in 2014, said GSMA.

Mobile subscriber penetration rate was 36 percent in 2014 against 50 percent global average. The subscriber penetration rate in India is forecast to reach 54 percent by 2020.

Mobile broadband networks — 3G and 4G – will account for 42 percent of mobile connections 2020 from 11 percent in 2014. 3G network coverage reached three-quarters of the population in the last 5 years.

13 percent of the world’s mobile subscribers reside in India and that subscriber growth is forecast to outperform the regional and global averages over the coming years.

“India is a unique mobile market and one where the mobile ecosystem is playing a hugely influential role in transforming the lives of its citizens, and driving economic growth,” said Alex Sinclair, acting director general and chief technology officer at the GSMA.

More than half a billion new smartphones connections are expected in India between 2015 and 2020, bringing the total to 690 million, up from 149 million in 2014.

India’s mobile industry made a total contribution of $116 billion to the Indian economy in 2014, equivalent to 6.1 percent of India’s total GDP. This contribution is forecast to almost double to INR14 lakh crore by 2020, which would represent 8.2 percent of projected GDP.

The industry directly and indirectly will supported 5 million in jobs in the Indian economy in 2020 from 4 million in 2014.

The number of individuals accessing the internet over mobile devices has grown to nearly 300 million in 2014 from less than 100 million in 2010.

Network coverage and digital literacy remain key barriers to extending mobile internet access, as many of India’s unconnected communities reside in rural or remote areas.

Increase in the availability of harmonized spectrum at a reasonable price, as well as a reduction in mobile-specific taxation that will maximize the ability of mobile operators to invest in their networks are the growth barriers.

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