NEW DELHI: 3G is passé and India is now a full 4G market with 99% of the 700 million mobile internet subscribers using the high-speed network for going online.
According to the Mobile Broadband India Traffic Index (Mbit) 2021 report of network company Nokia, there was negligible 4G in the country in 2014, while in 2015 it became 40%, similar to that of 3G as the faster network started to roll out.
However, the real impetus to the technology came after 2016 as Reliance Jio rolled out its 4G-only network at dirt-cheap tariffs, also forcing other operators like Airtel and Vodafone Idea to scale up fast.
The Nokia annual report said that India ranked second in the world in terms of broadband usage on mobile phones after Finland, and the data traffic in the country has increased manifold over the last few years.
“In the last five years, we have grown 63 times in terms of data growth. It’s a record. I don’t think any country, any region, any market can beat this,” Nokia India’s chief marketing officer Amit Marwah said.
The report also said that the average time spent by Indians on smartphones is the highest in the world and the duration for watching short videos is likely to rise four-fold by 2025.
The average consumption of data per user per month also increased by 76% over the last five years to 13.5 GB (mainly 4G network).
“An average user in India has increased daily consumption on smartphones by four times last year. An average person consumes close to five hours per day on their devices,” Marwah said.
Almost 55 per cent of the consumption is being spearheaded by short video content, which is available on channels like YouTube, social media and other OTT apps while the rest gets consumed on other kinds of content like fintech, e-commerce and general browsing, Nokia said.