1.4 Billion Mobile Subs in India by 2020

There will be 1.4 billion mobile subscribers in India by 2020, resulting in penetration of 100 percent, according to Ericsson.

The appendix reveals that the GSM/EDGE (2G) subscriber base is expected to peak in 2015 and expected to decline thereafter as subscribers migrate to 3G services.

Third generation (WCDMA/HSPA) subscriptions are expected to grow from over 120 million in 2014 to around 620 million by 2020, with the proportion of WCDMA/HSPA subscriptions in the total subscription base reaching 45 percent.

Fourth generation LTE subscriptions are likely to reach more than 230 million, forming around 17 percent of the total subscription base by 2020.

Second generation GSM/EDGE networks presently have the widest reach in India, with 95 percent population coverage.

Third generation networks cover more than 35 percent of the Indian population at the end of 2014, and is expected to cover approximately 90 percent by the end of 2020.

About 40 percent of the population will be covered by LTE networks by 2020, Ericsson predicts.

Adoption of smartphones by older age cohorts generally is required to boost LTE adoption, and use of smartphones is growing in India.

The proportion of people aged over 50 who use smartphones quadrupled between 2013 and 2015, from a small base, Ericsson says. In the same period, there was a three hundred percent increase of mobile data users in the 31 to 40 age cohort.

On average, Indian smartphone users spend over three hours a day on their devices and 25 percent of them check their phones over 100 times a day, Ericsson says.

Around one third of the time spent on smartphones is used for apps, primarily chat, social media, and gaming.

Some 65 percent of mobile broadband smartphone users in India prefer video streaming to downloading videos on handsets.

The number of smartphone subscriptions is expected to reach over 750 million by 2020, up from 130 million in 2014.

As a result, monthly mobile data consumption is expected to increase 18-fold by the year 2020 over current levels.
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