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Press Release |  30 Dec 2020 13:06 |  By RnMTeam

5G user base in India to reach 350 million by end of 2026

A recent Ericsson report has forecast a growth in 5G user base in India in six years’ time. According to the Ericsson Mobility Report for November 2020, the country will see an estimated 350 million 5G subscriptions by the end of 2026, accounting for around 27 percent of total mobile subscriptions in India.
Globally, the Ericsson report estimated that over 1 billion people around the world will have access to 5G coverage by the end of 2020—and this figure is expected to balloon to 3.5 billion, or about 60 percent of the world’s population, by 2026.
Patrik Cerwall, Head of Strategic Marketing Insights and Editor of Ericsson Mobility Report, said in a statement, “Low prices for mobile broadband services, affordable smartphones and increased time spent by people online all contribute to monthly usage growth in India. Accordingly, total traffic is projected to quadruple in India, reaching 35EB per month in 2026.”
LTE still the winner, especially for casual online gamers
Currently, LTE is still the  popular choice in India, with around 63 percent. Analysts at Ericsson noted, “In the India region, LTE subscriptions are forecast to increase from 710 million in 2020 to 820 million in 2026, increasing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2 per cent. LTE remains the dominant technology in 2020, accounting for 63 per cent of mobile subscriptions. The technology will continue to be dominant, representing 63 per cent of mobile subscriptions also in 2026, with 3G being phased out by that time.”
And that’s not surprising. As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues with no end in sight, people are forced to hunker down and do everything in lockdown—be it studies or work, send money via messaging apps like WhatsApp and even virtually socializing with family and friends via video conferences or playing casual card games like teen patti, Andar Bahar or online rummy.
India needs to keep up with demand
India has been on a digital-first trajectory over the last several years, which means that having faster and stable Internet speed is a must for the country looking to digitally transform key sectors including healthcare, government services, manufacturing, education, and the labor market, among others.
Currently, there are efforts to improve and expand 4G coverage across the country. According to Ookla’s Speedtest Intelligence performance metrics, “India had the highest 4G Availability among the largest South Asian countries during Q3 2020 with 93.7% of tested locations showing 4G available according to data from Speedtest coverage scans on Android.”
5G coverage also appears to be on the horizon. The Union Cabinet recently gave the green light to a new round of auction for a telecom spectrum totaling 2251.25 Megahertz (MHz) with two decades validity, as part of the government’s efforts to help telecommunications service providers improve their network “for providing better mobile and WiFi services.”
As Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson, pointed out: “5G is entering the next phase, when new devices and applications make the most out of the benefits it provides, while service providers continue to build out 5G. Mobile networks are a critical infrastructure for many aspects of everyday life and 5G will be key to future economic prosperity.”