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Nokia Study Reveals Exponential Growth Of 3G Data Traffic Across The country In 2015

  • 85% year-on-year 3G traffic growth in 2015 following 3G expansion and device availability

  • Monthly 3G data usage per user passed 750 MB, traffic outpaced 2G for first time across all circles[1]

  • 4G LTE device ecosystem grew over eight-fold in 2015, setting stage for further data traffic growth in 2016

  • Potential for operators to offer DC-HSPA as short-term substitute for 4G LTE

The MBiT Index study*, Nokia’s annual report on mobile broadband performance in India, has revealed nokiaexponential growth of 3G data traffic across the country in 2015. It also indicates how a growing device ecosystem and increased adoption of multimedia services will boost traffic further as 4G LTE networks are rolled out across the country.

According to the study, overall mobile data traffic grew by 50% in 2015, with 3G traffic outpacing 2G across all circles for the first time. This was the result of a mature network, device and content ecosystem. 3G device penetration more than doubled during the year while new network launches and expansions in existing circles boosted data adoption beyond larger towns and cities.

Subscriber appetite is growing for multimedia services, with video and social networking now making up 60% of data traffic. Average monthly data usage for 3G surpassed 750 MB per subscriber and, with operators poised to launch 4G LTE networks, faster data speeds will fuel an even greater surge in traffic – echoing 4G LTE launches in other parts of the world where operators have traditionally seen data usage increase by up to four times.

Sandeep Girotra, Vice President and Head of India Market, Nokia said: “Aggressive 3G network expansion in existing circles and new launches by operators have been instrumental in increasing data traffic in India. It is expected that this data traffic growth will be boosted in coming years by the auction of additional spectrum, an increase in smartphone penetration and the development of the content ecosystem. Moreover, the rapid evolution of the device ecosystem, supported by a decline in prices, presents significant growth opportunities for operators as they launch and expand 4G LTE networks in coming years.”

Key trends expected for operators in 2016:

  • 2G still has the potential to drive internet adoption in Category B and C circles in the short to medium term.

  • With evolving device support for 3G carrier aggregation, operators could potentially offer DC-HSPA as a substitute for 4G LTE in some circles in the short term.

  • 4G LTE device ecosystem will continue to grow with decline in device prices, thus giving operators the opportunity to monetize quickly as they launch 4G LTE networks.**

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