India to have 280 million 4G connections by 2020, overall base to touch 1 billion: GSMA

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India’s telecom industry will have nearly 1 billion unique mobile subscribers by 2020 up from 616 million such users in June 2016, even as the number of 4G connections will touch 280 million by 2020 from just three million at the end of 2015, global industry body GSMA said in its latest report, 'The Mobile Economy: India 2016'.



The report said that improving affordability, falling device prices, operator investments in network coverage and quality will help increase the country’s overall subscriber base with an additional 330 million unique subscribers in India by 2020.

With 1 billion unique mobile subscribers, the telecom penetration rate will surge to 68 per cent of the population by 2020, up from 47 per cent in 2015, the report said. India recently became the world's second-largest smartphone market with an installed base of 275 million devices, overtaking the United States.

GSMA, in the report, said that the country will also see a significant uptake in mobile subscriptions, broadband and connectivity by 2020, marking a period of rapid development of the country's mobile economy. The Indian mobile industry's contribution to GDP is likely to grow to Rs 14 lakh crore by 2020, up from Rs 9 lakh crore in 2015, the report said.

The number of 3G and 4G mobile broadband connections is projected to cross 670 million by 2020, which is 48 per cent of the total connection base, the report further added. The global body said that the Indian telecom industry will be investing significantly in network expansion and upgradation. The operator capital expenditure will be growing to USD 34 billion or Rs 2.3 lakh crore ot for the period 2016 to 2020.

GSMA said that 670 million will have access to mobile internet services by 2020, up from 430 million as of mid-2016. Mats Granryd, Director General of GSMA said that reform in key areas, including modernising regulation and long-term planning for spectrum allocation would accelerate mobile broadband access and adoption across the country.

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