Fuelled by strong 3G and 2G data traffic growth, a 74 percent rise in mobile data traffic was recorded at 2014-end compared to the year’s beginning, Nokia Networks’ MBit Index study claimed. Also Read - OnePlus India partners American Express for cashback deals, EMI offers and more
“…an annual report on mobile broadband performance in India, reveals a 74 percent increase in mobile data traffic generated by both 2G and 3G mobile broadband services at the end of 2014, compared to the beginning the same year,” a statement based on the study said. Also Read - India bans 43 more Chinese apps over security concerns
“This rise was primarily driven by a strong 3G growth with 114 percent increase, while the 2G data traffic growth was reported to be 41 percent.” Also, on an average, a 3G user consumed 3.2 times more data than a 2G user in 2014. The study also showed an increase in the smartphone’s usage in 2014, as the consumers increasingly opted for smart devices due to their affordability. Also Read - Fake Xiaomi products worth Rs 33 lakh seized in Bengaluru, Chennai
“The 2014 study’s results clearly show the strong momentum of 3G in India, which has been the primary driver for the data traffic growth,” Sandeep Girotra, vice president and head of India region, Nokia Networks, said.
“A surge in 3G and 4G compatible smartphone use underlines the greater need for operators to expand the 3G network coverage and selectively rollout 4G services for higher speeds across all the circles while modernizing the existing 2G networks,” he added.
The study said the 3G data consumption was 52 percent of the total data consumption in December 2014 as against 42 percent in January 2014; September 2014 witnessed 3G data consumption surpassing 2G’s use across India.
On an average, 3G data use increased to 688 MB per month in 2014, indicating a 29 percent jump compared to 2013. Also, on an average 2G data use increased to 216 MB per month, indicating a 48 percent jump and improvements in 2G network quality for mobile broadband access.
The report concluded that 3G is driving the data growth but 2G data growth is stabilizing. “Hence, operators need to sustain the 2G networks while continuing to strengthen and expand 3G networks.”
While 3G data consumption is primarily driven by increasing data consumption, per user with the subscriber base remaining more or less flat, it is imperative for operators to focus on increasing the 3G subscriber base, adding more and more active 3G data subscribers.
According to the report, though 4G in India is in the nascent stage, the country already has 5.5 million 4G capable devices but only about 85,000 subscribers are active long-term evolution (LTE) users. “It indicates another significant opportunity for selective rollout of 4G networks and services in the country,” the report said.