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GSM Subscriptions To Decline From 780 Mn In '14 To Around 510 Mn By 2020

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Mobility has become an important factor in the day-to-day life and everyone wants to remain connected in some way or other. This 'get connected' formula of mobility will increase the number of users by 1.4 billion by 2020 in the country, resulting in a population penetration of 100 per cent, according to Ericsson Mobility Report. 

The report says, LTE (Long-Term Evolution) subscriptions will  reach more than 230 million by 2020, forming around 17 per cent of the total subscription base. 

The WCDMA/HSPA subscriptions are expected to grow from over 120 million in 2014 to around 620 million by 2020, with the proportion of WCDMA/HSPA subscriptions in the total subscription base touching 45 per cent by that time. LTE subscriptions are likely to reach more than 230 million, forming around 17 per cent the total subscription base by 2020.

According to the report, GSM/EDGE subscriptions will decline from 780 million in 2014 to around 510 million by 2020. The GSM/EDGE subscription base is predicted to peak in 2015 and decline thereafter as subscribers migrate to 3G services.

In terms of demographics, the proportion of people aged over 50 who use smartphones quadrupled between 2013 and 2015, albeit from a small base. In the same period, there was a three-fold growth in the proportion of 31-40 year old mobile data users.

On average, Indian smartphone users spend over three hours in a day on their smartphones and 25 per cent of them check their phones over 100 times a day. Around one third of the time spent on smartphones is used for apps, primarily chat, social media, and gaming. 65 per cent of mobile broadband smartphone users in India prefer video streaming to downloading videos on handsets.

The number of smartphone subscriptions is expected to reach over 750 million by 2020, up from 130 million in 2014. The continued growth in smartphone subscriptions will lead to an accelerated growth in data usage; monthly mobile data consumption is expected to increase 18-fold by the year 2020 over current levels.

Chris Houghton, Head of Region India, Ericsson says: “Maintaining and improving quality of the user experience is likely to be at the top of Indian operators’ agenda over the coming years. A network with a mix of macro sites, micro sites and small cells will need to be established to manage coverage, capacity and network performance for the best user experience and to meet the growing demand for data services”.

Video streaming accounts for the most used mobile data service amongst Indians, followed by social networking. 70 per cent of mobile broadband smartphone users regularly stream videos on their smartphones, and 61 per cent use social networks. Indian smartphone users are also seeing great potential in mobile broadband when it comes to facilitating the way they handle their money and personal finances.