5G Users In India Consume 3.6x More Data Than 4G Users: Nokia Report

According to Nokia’s Mobile Broadband Index report, mobile data traffic in India was 17.4 exabytes per month in 2023

Increasing data consumption among 5G users in India has caused 5G’s share in the country’s overall data traffic to rise from 1.7 per cent in 2022 to 14.8 per cent in 2023, as per a new report by Nokia. On average, 5G users consume 3.6 times more data than 4G users in the country. 

Nokia’s Mobile Broadband Index report, released on Wednesday, reveals a significant hike in 5G penetration across circles. In metros, 5G contributed 20 per cent of overall data traffic last year. At a pan-India level, this stood at 15 per cent. 

The Finnish telecom gear maker also highlighted that monthly data usage in the country was 17.4 EB (exabytes) in 2023. One exabyte equals a billion gigabytes (GB). In the last five years, India’s data traffic grew at 26 per cent CAGR. 

Tarun Chhabra, head of mobile networks business at Nokia (India), said, “What is immediately obvious is the incredible proliferation of 5G technology across India and the increasing demand for super-fast 5G data speeds. Nokia looks forward to continuing to work hand-in-hand with our operator partners to help them meet customer demand.”

Commercial 5G services were launched in India in October 2022. At present, Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, the two leading telecom operators in the country, offer 5G services at no additional cost to its 4G users. 

As of 2023, there were 131 million 5G subscribers in India and this is expected to increase to 575 million by 2026, according to the report. It also noted that approximately 17 per cent of all active 4G devices in the country are now capable of switching to 5G technology. 

At the end of 2022, there were 787 million 4G users and 12 million 5G users. This changed to 724 million and 131 million by the end of 2023, the report showed. 

“The rise of 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) will also serve as a key enabler for new services in both the home and business with FWA users expected to consume an estimated 2.5 times more data than average 5G users,” it said. According to Nokia, 5G FWA users consume 2.5 times more data than normal 5G users. 

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