Mobile data traffic grows over 50% in India

16 August 2012 |


Mobile data traffic in India grew 54% between December 2011 and June 2012, according to data from vendor Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN).

Of this, traffic generated by 3G services increased 78% while that generated by 2G services increased by 47% during the same period.

Despite 2G users across the country consuming approximately three quarters of mobile data traffic, the average first time 3G user was found to consume four times more than the average 2G user. At close to 400MB of data a month compared to 100MB.

NSN said that it expects India’s mobile data traffic to double by June 2013 if it maintains this pace.

“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,” said Sandeep Girotra, head of India region at Nokia Siemens Networks. “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.”

Despite low 3G device penetration, 3G was found to have outpaced 2G in terms of data traffic growth by the end of June 2012. But at 75% of total data traffic generated, 2G is still expected to play a key role in providing basic mobile internet in India.

Of 2G data traffic, web browsing contributed 81% while video was 17%. There was 4% growth in multimedia content traffic over 2G from December 2011 to June 2012.
India’s category A and B metro telecom circles were found to together contribute 72% of mobile data traffic, due to improved internet speeds on 2G networks and cheaper 2G and 3G dongles. The country’s category B circles witnessed the strongest demand for 3G services at a growth rate of more than 87% between December 2011 and June 2012.

NSN’s data was drawn from the 2G and 3G networks it provides in India, which account for 30% of the total, and provide services to about 300 million subscribers.