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‘India to surpass 350 mn 5G connections by 2026’

India, which has the highest average monthly mobile data traffic per smartphone, is expected to surpass 350 million 5G subscriptions by 2026, accounting for 27% of all mobile subscriptions in the country, according to a report by Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson.

As per the ‘The Ericsson Mobility Report 2020,’ four out of every ten mobile subscriptions in 2026 will be 5G globally with 5G subscriptions forecast to reach 3.5 billion. “In the India region, LTE (long-term evolution technology) subscriptions are forecast to increase from 710 million in 2020 to 820 million in 2026” by which time 3G will be phased out. LTE remains the dominant technology in 2020, accounting for 63%,” the report said, while pointing out that it would continue to be dominant, representing 63% of mobile subscriptions in 2026, with 3G being phased out by that time.

Based on the reported timeline for spectrum auction for 5G services, India could have its first 5G connection in 2021, according to Nitin Bansal, head of network solutions for the market area south east Asia, oceania and India, Ericsson.

Mobile broadband technologies accounted for 67% of mobile subscriptions in 2020, and this figure is predicted to reach 91% by 2026, when the total number of mobile broadband subscriptions is set to reach close to 1.2 billion, it said.

The report added that in India, the reliance of people on mobile networks to stay connected as well as work from home during the pandemic has resulted in average traffic per smartphone user rising from 13.5 GB a month in 2019 to 15.7 GB in 2020, the highest globally.

The average traffic per smartphone is expected to further increase to about 37GB per month in 2026, it added.

“Low prices for mobile broadband services, affordable smartphones and increased time spent by people online all contribute to monthly usage growth in India,” said Patrik Cerwall, head of strategic marketing insights and editor of Ericsson Mobility Report.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2021 9:11:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/india-to-surpass-350-mn-5g-connections-by-2026/article33216062.ece

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