Smartphone data consumption in India grew 44x in last four years

(Image credit: Future)

With the onset of affordable data and smartphones, India has seen a huge bump in data consumption numbers. In case you ever wondered where we stand, we now have reports that talk about this, straight from Nokia.

Every year, Nokia surveys data consumption patterns of India and publishes them in the Mobile Broadband India Traffic Index report. The 2019 edition just went live, which mentioned that each user consumes 11.2GB of data each month. It is dominated by streaming videos, which accounts for almost 80%.

Year on year, the overall data consumption in India grew by 47%, out of which 4G contributed to a whopping 96%. 3G data consumption fell by 30%, and 2G data is now at a negligible level. One of the biggest reasons for this shift is the availability of affordable 4G data in India, which is one of the cheapest in the world.

The number of 4G handsets grew 1.5x to 501 million, out of which 430 million were also LTE capable. For the period from 2015 to 2019, India’s data traffic recorded a 44x growth, which is also one of the highest in the world. An increase in Category B circles dominated the rise.

“We believe the migration of subscribers to 4G will continue to drive broadband growth in the country. The upcoming 4K/8K videos and industry 4.0 solutions that promise to enhance productivity and bring down expenses for industries across different verticals demand ultra high speed and extremely low latency. The Indian telcos will need to consider other connectivity solutions to leverage the new opportunities and to address the growing data consumption,” Sanjay Malik, Senior Vice President & Head of India Market at Nokia, said.

YouTube led the video consumption trail, followed by Hotstar and JioTV. More than 30 OTT platforms were recognized, which translated to an average of 70 minutes spent on video content consumption each day. It was followed by internet browsing and social media.

The report also predicts that the growth in 5G penetration will be led by connected cities, public safety, infrastructure projects, and healthcare. 

Aakash Jhaveri

Aakash is the engine that keeps TechRadar India running, using his experience and ideas to help consumers get to the right products via reviews, buying guides and explainers. Apart from phones, computers and cameras, he is obsessed with electric vehicles.