As per data from Nokia Siemens Networks collected by its MBit Index, mobile data traffic in India took a 54 percent leap from December 2011 to June 2012. Nokia Siemens Networks accounts for 30 percent of the total 2G and 3G network in the country, which provides services to around 300 million subscribers. Data traffic generated by 3G services in the country increased by 78 percent during this period, while data traffic by 2G services increased by 47 percent. Nokia Siemens Networks, by way of this report, projects that India's mobile data consumption is poised to double by June 2013. This projection it based on the fact that 2G users in the country amount to three-quarters of the entire mobile data traffic, while 3G users consumed four times more data than 2G users.
Mobile data traffic (December 2011 – June 2012) up by 54 percent (Image credit: Getty Images)
Though 3G device penetration has been low, 3G managed to race ahead of 2G by the end of June 2012, as far as data traffic growth is concerned. The report highlighted that 2G is likely to remain 'a focus area' for operators, owing to the fact that 2G networks accounted for 75 percent of the total data traffic. Therefore, 2G is being projected as the one playing a key role in offering basic mobile Internet in the country.
Sandeep Girotra, Head of India region at Nokia Siemens Networks, said, “Our report highlights India’s enormous appetite for consuming data services on the go and hence the need to provide high quality mobile broadband services to satisfy users. 2G has been relatively successful in driving mobile broadband use in India, but we are now witnessing 3G pushing the mobile broadband use to unprecedented levels”. He added, “While it’s important that 2G networks need to be constantly strengthened across the country, 3G network coverage, especially in residential areas, needs to be enhanced. In addition, further improving the quality of data services and fulfilling expectations of various user segments are vital to acquiring, satisfying and retaining mobile broadband customers”.
The report found that a first time 3G user uses roughly 400MB of data each month, as opposed to 100MB of data consumption on 2G networks. Interestingly, the report also attributes the recent tariff reductions in 3G services to 3G data traffic being doubled month on month. The report says “affordable, high-speed broadband availability encourages heavy data consumption”.
Web browsing accounted for 81 percent of 2G data traffic, downloading videos for 17 percent. Multimedia content traffic too has been reported to have projected a steady growth of 4 percent over 2G networks across the country in the first half of the year.
View the entire report here.