4G attains saturation in key metro circles in India


During the last five years, data usage in India has grown 60 times, with 4G LTE forming 99% of it, according to the MBiT Index from Nokia.

With only 22 million subscribers for 3G at present, and faster migration to 4G, 3G will hardly witness any growth in the coming years, the report said.

4G customers in India have grown to 700 mn, with 100 mn new additions over the last five years.

Also, with 99% LTE subscriptions, metro circles are approaching saturation.

Category A & B circles are witnessing surge in LTE adoption, with 37 percent and 39 percent adoption respectively at present. These circles form the major focus areas for operators in the coming months.

Fixed broadband revenue, which has witnessed significant growth due to the new trends of working-from-home, is expected to grow 1.5 times by 2025 and FTTx will play a key role in surging the data demand.

Demand for enhanced broadband and fixed access for more capacity and coverage would further establish the need for 5G in future.

Other key findings include the following:

  • Fixed broadband subscribers are estimated to grow 12 percent Y-o-Y to 22 mn.
  • FTTH and fixed wireless will have significant growth compared to other broadband technologies/
  • Average monthly data usage has increased almost 17 times over the  last five years.
  • There has been 4 times increase in smartphone usage to 5 hrs a day
  • More than 180 mn active users leverage short video content, growing 9 times since 2016.
  • Penetration of smartphones and high-end devices, millennial’s appetite for short content, and popularity of regional content are driving the increase usage of short video content.
  • Currently 32% of telecom towers in India are fiberized.

The COVID 19 pandemic has led to demographic shifts in demand while accelerating digitization that include fixed broadband and significantly more data consumption, the report further said.