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NSN study shows 87% jump in Indian mobile data traffic in 2013

In its annual report on mobile broadband performance in India, Nokia Solutions and Networks has reported an 87 per cent rise in data traffic generated by 2G and 3G services during 2013. The MBit Index study found that 3G data traffic increased by 146 per cent, well above the world average of around 100 per cent, whereas 2G data traffic grew by 59 per cent.

The MBit Index also shows that – unsurprisingly – 3G users continue to consume more data than 2G users. In December 2013, the average 3G user in India consumed 532MB of data compared to 146MB comsuption over 2G. In some of the major urban centres the average data consumption per user has reached 1GB per month.

“India is recording mobile broadband data growth figures higher than most other markets,” said Sandeep Girotra, head of India region at NSN. “With the recent spectrum auctions paving the way for acceleration of mobile broadband penetration in the country, there is a great opportunity for India to create a world-class infrastructure and improve the lives of millions of Indians.”

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has divided the market into 23 service areas referred to as ‘circles’ (approximating the country’s 28 states). These circles are further divided into four categories: ‘Metro’ circles covering four major cities, ‘Category A’ circles for regions with other large cities, ‘Category B’ circles covering regions with smaller towns, and ‘Category C’ circles for rural areas. Simple, eh?

Analysis by circles shows that category A is the highest contributor of 3G in India, driving half of all mobile data in the country. 3G mobile data consumption grew by a record of 185 per cent in 2013 in these circles.

However, 3G coverage in India is still very limited, and in the major cities coverage lags that of 2G by between 10 and 20 per cent. In some cities, 3G has not yet even been launched. NSN’s Girotra is also calling for wider 3G rollout as well as the selected introduction of LTE.

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