India recorded highest growth in mobile broadband data in 2021


Nokia annual Mobile Broadband Index (MBiT) report 2022 reveals that with the Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 53% over the last five years, India has one of the highest data usage in the world. The growing number of data users and consumption per user is helping the country advance towards realizing the vision of Digital India.

The data traffic increased by 31% in 2021, with average mobile data consumption touching 17GB per user per month. India’s growing 4G networks carried almost all mobile broadband traffic in 2021. The report further revealed that more than 40 million subscribers were added or upgraded to 4G services in 2021. This number will further grow as adaptation to digitization continues to grow. Metros have shown a significant increase in traffic as compared to the previous years.

The growing ecosystem of 4G-capable devices is driving the growth in 4G subscribers and data consumption. India recorded the highest-ever shipment of more than 160 million smartphones, including 30 million 5G devices in 2021, with active 4G capable devices crossing 80% and the number of active 5G capable devices, crossing 10 million.


The report forecasts that user adoption will increase to ~60-75% of the smartphone user base by the calendar year 2025. The massive uptake of mobile broadband and video content is projected in the rural segment on the back of growing smartphone adoption.

Nokia MBiT report projects that 5G services revenue is likely to grow at a CAGR of 164% in five years. This is in line with the global momentum gained by 5G. The technology is expected to contribute up to 1% of global GDP or $1.3 trillion in revenue by 2030, driven by innovative use cases in several sectors, including healthcare, utilities, next-generation media applications, manufacturing and smart cities.

Sanjay Malik, SVP & Head of India Market, at Nokia, said: “4G has played a crucial role in developing India’s mobile broadband ecosystem. Now, the upcoming 5G spectrum auction and the commercial launch of services later this year will help India bridge the digital divide and enable service providers to provide new and exciting use cases like Industry 4.0 and smart cities to fuel the digital economy. We look forward to supporting the Indian telcos in deploying 5G networks and providing a world-class network performance to citizens and enterprises.”

Other key findings of the Nokia MBiT 2022 report: 

  • The shortform video segment can account for 20% of India’s digital ad market, estimated to reach $25-35 billion by the end of 2030.
  • Indian Gen Z spends an average of 8 hours per day online.
  • 90% of internet users in India prefer to consume content in their local language
  • Key 5G use cases in India will be in the domains of innovation, digitization and innovation
  • India’s forecasted mobile broadband penetration is ~80%, with average usage of 40GB.

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