A new study points at a 92 percent increase in mobile data traffic generated by both 2G and 3G services in India between December 2011 and December 2012. The study – Nokia Siemens Networks’ MBit Index – found that each 3G user at present consumes roughly 300 percent more data on an average than a 2G user. Currently, a 3G user consumes 434 MB per month on an average while a 2G user consumes 115 MB per month.
According to the study, mobile data traffic generated by 3G services jumped by 196 percent, while mobile data traffic generated by 2G services increased by 66 percent during the review period.
A 92 percent increase in mobile data traffic (Image credit: Getty Images)
In the first half of the research period, December 2011-June 2012, the report found the data traffic generated by 3G services increased by 78 percent, while that of 2G services increased by 47 percent. In the second half, July 2012-December 2012, data traffic generated by 3G services increased by 54 percent, while that of 2G services increased by 18 percent. Hence, the growth rate of 3G data in the second half of 2012 was almost triple that of the growth rate of 2G. In the second half, 2G data growth stabilised due to high-end 2G users migrating to 3G services.
It attributes the growth in 3G data consumption in the country to the reduction in 3G tariffs by operators in mid-2012. Elaborating on this further, it said that category A circles witnessed the maximum impact. 3G services generated one-third of the total mobile data in the country in the second half of the year – up from one-fourth in the first half.
The report said that Category A circles show a very strong tendency to access mobile data using smartphones – 45 percent of the total data accessed by smartphone users comes from here. That said, half the number of these users continue to access mobile data on 2G networks. This, the report notes, presents operators with a huge opportunity to get these 2G users to go for much faster 3G services.
The data that is currently accessed by smartphones using 3G services in category B and C circles is way lower than the national average – category B circles have recorded 75 percent of the mobile data consumption using 2G services only.