India is seeing substantial 5G network deployments following the launch of services in October 2022 and subscriptions are expected to reach 130 million in 2023, going up to 860 million by 2029.

According to telecom gear maker Ericsson in its latest Mobility Report, 5G subscriptions are estimated to account for 68 per cent of mobile subscriptions in the region by the end of 2029.

It also said 4G continues to be the dominant subscription type driving connectivity and fuelling data growth in the region. However, as subscribers migrate to 5G, 4G subscriptions are forecast to decline from 870 million in 2023 to 390 million by 2029. Total mobile subscriptions in the region are estimated to grow to 1.27 billion in 2029, the report said.

“Our global deployment experience and technology leadership has enabled us to support India in its 5G journey. Mobile networks continue to play a pivotal role in driving social and economic inclusion in India, thereby supporting the government’s vision to transform the country into a digitally empowered society,” Nitin Bansal, Head of Ericsson India, said.

The average data traffic per smartphone in India is the highest globally. It is projected to grow from 31 GB per month in 2023 to around 75 GB per month in 2029 – a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16 per cent. Total mobile data traffic is estimated to grow from 26 exabyte (EB) per month in 2023 to 73 EB per month in 2029, growing at a CAGR of 19 per cent.

Smartphone subscriptions in India as a percentage of total mobile subscriptions are expected to grow from 82 per cent in 2023 to 93 per cent in 2029, the report further added.