India has overtaken the US in smartphone connections and is second to China, said Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA). The country is expected to grow its unique mobile subscriber base to approximately one billion by the end of 2020, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9%.
In its “India Mobile Economy 2016 report”, GSMA said that India had 275 million smartphone connections as of June 2016 and has predicted the numbers to rise to 670 million by 2020, owing to a gradual reduction in data tariffs and growing availability of affordable smartphones for consumers.
“By 2020, almost half of the total connections will run over mobile broadband networks. There is also an accelerating move to 4G, with the 4G connection base forecast to grow rapidly, from just 3 million at the end of 2015 to 280 million by 2020,” the report said.
As per the report, almost half the country’s population now subscribes to a mobile service; unique users subscribed to mobile services stood at 616 million at the end of June 2016, making it the second largest mobile market in the world.
The report further said that improving affordability, lower device prices, and better network coverage will add 337 million new unique subscribers by 2020, increasing the penetration rate to 68%. The report also highlighted that mobile operators in India have so far reported limited revenue contribution from data services, generating 17% of service revenues at the end of 2015.