Third generation (3G) data services usage grew by 78 per cent in the country in the first half of this calendar year, a report by Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) said today.

“Category B circles witnessed the strongest demand for 3G services with a growth rate of more than 87 per cent between December 2011 and June 2012,” NSN MBit Index report said.

On the whole, 3G data has increased by 78 per cent and 2G by 47 per cent, which led to a growth of 54 per cent in mobile data traffic in the country, the report added.

The report aggregates real traffic across all the 2G and 3G multi-vendor networks managed by NSN for operators in the country.

“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,” NSN India Region Head Sandeep Girotra told reporters here.

The report said the recent tariff cut for 3G services by mobile operators has spiked the adoption.

“From December 2011 to May 2012, 3G traffic grew 7 per cent month-on-month, however, from May to June, the 3G traffic grew by 17 per cent, a clear spike due to 3G tariff cuts in May,” the report said.

3G users consume four times more data than 2G users, enabling 3G’s share to grow steadily from 20 per cent to 25 per cent in overall data services.

At this pace, India’s mobile data consumption is expected to double by June 2013, the report said.

“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,” Girotra said.

“A first time 3G user consumes close to 400 MB (megabytes) of data every month compared to about 100 MB consumption over 2G,” the report said.

The peak hour for 3G data usage is between 10 pm and 11 pm indicating a large proportion of users access 3G services at home, the report added.

NSN provides 30 per cent of the total 2G and 3G networks in the country that has about 300 million subscribers.

(This article was published on August 16, 2012)
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