India to have 810 mn smartphone subscriptions by 2021: Ericsson

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India is expected to have 810 million smartphone subscribers accounting for 59% of the 1.37 billion mobile subscribers in the country by 2021.

By then, average mobile data consumption per smartphone is expected to increase five times to 7 GB per month and account for 99% of the total traffic from mobile phones according to the Ericsson Mobility Report. On a national level, data traffic is expected to rise 55% annually from 0.3 exabytes per month in 2015 to 4.5 EB per month in 2021.

The rising smartphone base will be the driver for mobile broadband usage in the country. The report states that Indian mobile users gave greater importance to voice quality than data services, indicating that it is smartphone users who drive the need for better data services and they are even ready to pay for good service. The driver for data services are 15-24 year olds who demand better data speed, coverage and are wiling to pay a premium for it the report stated.

The country’s GSM/EDGE subscriber base will grow until 2016 and is expected to decline thereafter as operators migrate 2G subscribers to 3G, decreasing handset prices and bundling of data with devices. The two most popular forms of entertainment in India are streaming music and watching short video clips online. It is estimated that 50% of smartphone users stream music on their mobile apps every week. The top mobile apps are WhatsApp, Google Search and YouTube. Also on the rise are file sharing app Xender, followed by SHAREit.

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