The mobile subscriber base in India is likely to grow to 1145 million by 2020 from 795 million in 2013 and smartphone penetration is expected to grow to 45 per cent or 520 million devices from 10 per cent or 90 million devices in 2013 driven by data usage, according to a study by Ericsson.

Ericsson, which released the trend here on Thursday, believes that a strong user base and high-speed broadband connectivity would fundamentally change the way people live, interact and do business, and consumers would expect seamless data connectivity at all times, everywhere.

According to the company’s estimates, India’s mobile broadband (MBB) users will grow four times to 500 million by 2020, and this would give enormous pressure on operators to provide high quality connectivity.

“Mobile broadband usage is on the rise with social media, web browsing and chat driving more than a third of the mobile broadband traffic currently. Video consumption also continues to grow. However, ubiquitous mobile broadband experience for users is a challenge at present, with only a third being able to access internet over a mobile broadband network every time they attempt,” Ericsson said.

“A few years ago, access needs were limited to ‘some-time’, today it is ‘real-time’, and it is moving towards being connected all the time with access to high quality content. Smartphones and MBB services are becoming more affordable. As a result, we are seeing the advent of a new Networked Society in India as in other parts of the world that will benefit consumers and businesses alike,” Ajay Gupta, Head of Strategy & Marketing, Ericsson India, said.

“Today there is certain level of penetration of 3G services but going forward, by 2020, we will have mobile broadband subscribers, which are about half a billion, which means about 400 million will still be 3G and 100 million will be 4G,” Mr. Gupta added.