The VoLTE (Voice Over Long Term Evolution) or simply the 4G LTE technology has penetrated outrageously in India. A large majority of the digital population in India are mobile internet users. According to a report released today, India has upscaled its global rank despite declining mobile broadband download speed.
The worldwide rank of India in mobile broadband reached to 109th position in February 2018, that is up three places since the previous month, according to Speedtest index. Yet the average mobile broadband download speed slid down slightly to 9.01 Mbps from 9.14 Mbps in January 2018. On the other hand, the upload speed also dropped from 3.69 Mbps in January to 3.66 Mbps in February.
At the global level, Norway is positioned at the top with an average mobile broadband download speed clocking 62.07 Mbps in February 2018.
4G Revolution In India Bearing Fruits
The improved ranking of India in mobile broadband speed is the result of the enhancing mobile internet infrastructure. India has become the largest consumer of mobile data in the world. Nokia MBiT Index 2018 report highlights that the Indian telecom market has witnessed a paradigm shift in their data consumption during 2017. Mobile data usage jumped a huge 144% YoY to reach 2,360 petabytes per month in December 2017. Interestingly, 4G constituted nearly 82% share of the total data traffic during the same time. India witnessed this surge mainly after the introduction of Reliance Jio.
“Mobile broadband performance in India shows that 4G emerged as the key driver of mobile data consumption in 2017, capturing 82% of mobile data traffic and growing 135% Y-O-Y with the rapid deployment of 4G networks and affordable devices. 3G data grew 286% in 2017, driven by an increased appetite for data consumption and better coverage,” says Amit Marwah, Head – Customer Marketing & Communication, Nokia India.
The total number of mobile broadband subscribers In India (including phones and dongles), as of 31st January 2018 reached 359.80 million, registering 4.42% growth from the previous month, according to a recent report by TRAI. With 168.39 million users, Reliance Jio emerged as the largest mobile broadband provider in India. The growth of Reliance Jio is expected to continue as Ericsson estimates that India will have 800 million VoLTE subscribers by 2023, with a CAGR of 42.5% between 2017 and 2023. On the other hand, LTE will account for 60% of the total subscriptions in India by 2023, up from just 12% in 2017.
The dramatic growth of LTE devices has led to the rapid upheaval of the mobile broadband network. The install base of 4G LTE capable devices grew by 1.7x, to reach 218 million in 2017, with over 74% supporting VoLTE as well. According to a report by CyberMedia Research, shipments of 4G LTE-enabled smartphones accounted for 47% of the total mobile handsets shipped. The exploded adoption of 4G mobile handsets was the result of the advent of Chinese vendors in India, who flooded the market with the low-price 4G enabled mobile handsets. Chinese mobile handset makers were successful in luring the discerning Indian consumers with latest specs at affordable prices. These brands accounted for about half of the overall shipments of LTE enabled devices in 2017.
Mobile Internet Users in India
As of December 2017, India has currently 481 million internet users, and the figure is estimated to reach 500 million by June 2018. According to IAMAI report, in Urban India, around 295 million people were estimated to use the Internet as on December 2017, increased 9.66% from December 2016. On the other hand, in Rural India, around 186 million people were estimated to access the Internet as on December 2017, increased a 14.11% from December 2016.
The above data strongly compliments the latest upsurge in India’s digital populace. Even the rural parts of India are responsible for the growth in internet users.