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4G drives data traffic across India in 2016: Nokia Annual Mobile Broadband Index Study

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According to Nokia Annual Mobile Broadband Index Study, high speed internet broadband technology 4G which was launched in India by Reliance Jio in 2016 drove data traffic across India. 4G made up 60 per cent of the incremental data volumes when compared to 2015. Though Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and BSNL have also rolled out 4G services the 4G coverage is yet to penetrate across all circles. The study says that 4G has contributed 13 per cent of the total data traffic pan India. Nokia study points out that 3G with its growth trend and contributed 63 per cent of total data payload. This study has not included the contribution from Reliance Jio since the usage was free and according to Nokia analysis was carried out on the exit figures for December.

Nokia Annual Mobile Broadband Index Study reveals that the growth in 4G services has mainly been in metros since majority of 4G deployments have taken place there and the growth in 4G has been seen also because of affordable 4G enabled mobile phones. This growth in 4G enabled mobile phones have resulted in 2.7 times growth in 4G services in a year. The contribution of 4G to data traffic was estimated at 26 per cent. In the Indian market a growth has been seen in data consumption and that too phenomenally in 3G and 4G services. Large scale usage of Social media and messaging applications among the users and that to 90 per cent on mobile phones have resulted in large scale usage of high speed internet. Among the social media platforms video content has been contribution upto 65 per cent of total mobile data traffic.

The 2G services saw a drop in volumes by 13 per cent. It has been observed that people are mainly using 3G and 4G for data consumption and 2G for voice telephony. According to the study, the monthly 4G data usage per user was nearly twice the average consumption of 3G. If the 4G monthly data usage per subscriber was over 1,400 MB then for 3G per subscriber it stood at 850 MB.

The appetite of Indian customers for more data could be seen in the days to come as the government of India is trying for a digital push. Post demonetization a lot of apps have come up in the market which could be used for transfer money. The Indian customers could be seen downloading these apps on their mobile phones for making payments. Demand for 4G would also be spiraled by demand for streaming content. Already players like Amazon Prime and Netflix have started making a mark in the Indian market. Already the streaming service provider Hotstar is a massive hit in the Indian market.

We at Passionate in Marketing strongly believe that in the days to come the internet speed is going to be a strong differentiator for mobile service providers. Speed of 4G and 3G is going to be compared by different operators and controversies in this respect has already started with Reliance Jio countering the claims of Airtel on who is the fastest internet service provider quoting a speed test done by Ookla. Jio has also dragged Airtel to Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) for misleading ads. The hunger for more data among Indian customers at one end and maintaining the standards by giving good internet speed by mobile operators are for some interesting twists and turns in days to come.

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