By the end of 2027, 5G will represent around 39% of mobile subscriptions in India with an estimated 500 million subscriptions, said a report.
According to Ericsson Mobility Report for November 2021, the number of smartphone subscriptions is expected to be 810 million at the end of 2021 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7%, reaching over 1.2 billion by 2027.
Smartphone subscriptions accounted for 70% of total mobile subscriptions in 2021 and are projected to constitute around 94% in 2027, driven by rapid smartphone adoption in the country.
4G would remain the dominant technology in India in 2027, but the 4G subscriptions are forecast to drop from 790 million in 2021 to 710 million in 2027, showing an annual average decline of 2%. Thus, 4G subscriptions are expected to reduce from 68% of mobile subscriptions in 2021 to 55% in 2027 as subscribers migrate to 5G.
The report also states that India continues with the second-highest average traffic per smartphone in the world and this will grow to 50GB per month in 2027 driven by 5G connectivity. According to Ericsson, 4G LTE networks have played a crucial role in achieving this growth of mobile traffic in 2021, but it also adds that the growing 5G adoption has boosted mobile data traffic as well.
Nitin Bansal, Head of Ericsson India and Head of Network Solutions for Southeast Asia, Oceania, and India, Ericsson said: "5G will serve as a socio-economic multiplier for the country and we are preparing the communication service providers for a seamless introduction of 5G in the country based on our global deployment experience, our innovative and competitive 5G portfolio as well as the 5G trials we are doing with Indian operators to showcase the possibilities with 5G.”
Ericsson recently carried out 5G trials with Airtel and Vi where it demonstrated enhanced mobile broadband and FWA use cases with 5G. Ericsson demonstrated blazing speeds of > 4Gbps with 5G during the trial with Vi in Pune. The Company also showcased the potential of 5G to revolutionize the healthcare sector by enabling remote diagnostics.
The highlight of the trial with Bharti Airtel was the demonstration of over 200 Mbps throughput on a 3GPP-compliant 5G FWA device at a distance of over 10 Km from the site. This translated into an inter-site (between two 5G sites) coverage of approximately 20 km, thus offering the ability to provide high-speed broadband coverage even in the remotest of geographies.