The mobile data traffic in India is likely to grow fifteen times by the year 2021 on the back of rapid penetration of smartphone and high-speed 4G LTE services, according to Ericsson Mobility Report. The report said that Indian market added maximum 21 million mobile subscriptions globally in the first quarter of 2016, followed by Myanmar (+5 million), Indonesia (+5 million), the US (+3 million) and Pakistan (+3 million).
The mobile subscriptions are growing around 3% year-on-year globally and reached 7.4 billion in the first quarter of 2016. The report said that mobile broadband subscriptions are growing by around 20 percent year-on-year, increasing by around 140 million in Q1 2016 alone. Global mobile broadband subscriptions will reach 7.7 billion by 2021, accounting for 85% of all subscriptions.
Mobile broadband will complement fixed broadband in some segments, and will be the dominant mode of access in others.
The total number of LTE subscriptions is now around 1.2 billion with 150 million new subscriptions. LTE subscriptions continue to grow strongly and it will reach a total of 4.3 billion subscriptions by the end of 2021, the Ericsson study said, which also said that WCDMA/HSPA added around 30 million during the quarter.
GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions declined by 70 million during Q1 2016, the study said. GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions presently represent the largest share of mobile subscriptions, but in 2021, both LTE and WCDMA/HSPA subscription numbers will be more than double GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions, the Ericsson study said.
In developed markets, there has already been a substantial migration to more advanced technologies, and on a global level this has resulted in a slight decline in GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions. However, in developing markets it remains a viable option as less affluent users are likely to choose a low-cost mobile phone and subscription.
“The majority of 3G/4G subscriptions in all regions will still have access to GSM/EDGE as a fallback. GSM/EDGE will also continue to play an important role for IoT applications,” the study said.
By 2021, smartphone subscriptions will almost double from 3.4 billion to 6.3 billion, according to the report. The Ericsson study said that there are now 5 billion mobile subscribers – unique users – in the world today, which is testament to the phenomenal growth of mobile technology in a relatively short period of time.
Between 2015 and 2021, the number of IoT connected devices is expected to grow 23 percent annually, of which cellular IoT is forecast to have the highest growth rate. Of the 28 billion total devices that will be connected by 2021, close to 16 billion will be IoT devices.