India to have 330 million 5G subscriptions by 2026, says Ericsson report

The study by Ericsson states that Indian consumers have shown a strong intent for shifting towards 5G once this technology is made available.
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India will have around 330 million 5G subscriptions by the end of 2026, which represents around 26 percent of the mobile subscribers in the country, according to a report.

According to Ericsson Mobility Report under its ConsumerLab study, at least 40 million smartphone users in India could take up 5G in the first year of this technology being made available, with consumers even willing to pay 50 percent more for 5G plans with bundled digital services, compared to just 10 percent premium for 5G connectivity.

The study says India has the biggest rise in the intention to upgrade, with 67 percent of users expressing an intention to take up 5G once it is available — an increase of 14 percentage points over 2019.

However, the present 4G technology will continue to be dominant, representing 66 percent of mobile subscriptions in 2026, with 3G being phased out by that time.

In India, 4G subscriptions are forecast to rise from 680 million in 2020 to 830 million in 2026, increasing at a CAGR of 3 percent. 4G remained the dominant technology in 2020, accounting for 61 percent of mobile subscriptions.

The report also stated that the number of smartphone subscriptions was 810 million in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7 percent, reaching over 1.2 billion by 2026. Smartphone subscriptions accounted for 72 percent of total mobile subscriptions in 2020 and are projected to constitute over 98 percent in 2026, driven by rapid smartphone adoption in the country.

Nitin Bansal, Head of Ericsson India and Head of Network Solutions for South East Asia, Oceania and India, Ericsson, said, “COVID-19 has accelerated India’s digital transformation as more and more consumers rely on digital services – be it digital payments, remote health consultations, online retail or video conferencing – to fulfil their business or personal needs. Accordingly, the average monthly mobile data usage per smartphone continues to show robust growth, boosted by people increasing their smartphone usage while staying at home.”

The average traffic per smartphone user in India has increased from 13 GB per month in 2019 to 14.6 GB per month in 2020. The average traffic per smartphone in the India region stands second highest globally and is projected to grow to around 40 GB per month in 2026.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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