New GSMA Study Projects Almost One Billion Mobile Subscribers India 2020
India is expected to see a significant uptake in mobile subscriptions, broadband and connectivity by 2020, marking a period of rapid development of the country’s mobile economy, according to a new GSMA Intelligence study published today. The new report, ‘The Mobile Economy: India 2016’, noted that at the end of June 2016, 616 million unique users had subscribed to mobile services in India, making it the second-largest mobile market globally, with almost one billion unique mobile subscribers1expected by 2020. India also overtook the United States in 2016 to become the world’s second-largest smartphone market with an installed base of 275 million devices.
The report forecasts that improving affordability, falling device prices and operator investments in network coverage and quality will help deliver an additional 330 million unique subscribers in India by 2020, lifting the country’s penetration rate to 68 per cent of the population (up from 47 per cent in 2015). India is also seeing an ongoing technology shift to mobile broadband services; the number of 3G/4G mobile broadband connections2 is forecast to reach more than 670 million by 2020, 48 per cent of the total connection base.
There will also be an accelerating move to 4G over this period. The number of 4G connections is forecast to grow rapidly, growing from just 3 million at the end of 2015 to 280 million by 2020. In addition, the industry is set to invest heavily, with operator CAPEX growing to $34 billion (INR2.3 lakh crore) for the period 2016 to 2020.