Helped by a growing appetite for data, networking giant Cisco projects India’s smartphones count to rise at a compound annual growth rate of almost 17% to touch 780.6 million in the next 4 years. Indian smartphone users will consume more data going ahead and the average consumption will cross 2 GB a month by 2021. Its latest Visual Networking Index (VNI) report forecasts smartphones to account for 38% of the 2 billion networked devices — laptops, PCs, tablets, handsets, etc — by 2021. However, the share for non-smartphones is forecast to decline to 23.5%. “In India, Smartphones will account for 38% (780.6 million) of all networked devices in 2021, compared to 26% (359.2 million) in 2016, (with a CAGR of 16.8%), while non-smartphones will account for 23.5% (481.6 million) of all networked devices in 2021, compared to 49% (682.0 million) in 2016. Its CAGR will decline at a rate of 6.7%,” it said. The report also forecast that the average smartphone will generate 2.14 GB of mobile data traffic per month in 2021, up from 559 MB per month in 2016. Besides, smartphones will account for 35% of the total IP traffic in the country by 2021 from 16% last year. “We are witnessing a burgeoning rise in usage of mobile applications and connectivity by end users,” managing director (Service Provider Business) of Cisco’s India & SAARC region Sanjay Kaul said. Combining device capabilities with faster, higher bandwidth and more intelligent networks is leading to wide adoption of high bandwidth data, video and advanced multimedia applications that contribute to increased mobile and Wi-Fi traffic, he added.
Taking into account all categories of mobile phones, Cisco said that the average mobile connection will generate 1.5 GB of data traffic per month in 2021, up from 265 MB in 2016.
“In India, mobile data traffic will grow 7-fold from 2016 to 2021, a compound annual growth rate of 49%,” the report projected. Cisco expects 59% of the country’s population will be online in the next four years. “There will be 829 million total Internet users (59% of population) in 2021, up from 373 million (28% of population) in 2016.” India’s IP traffic is expected to grow 4-fold from 2016 to 2021, at a CAGR of 30% and reach 6.5 exabytes of data per month in 2021, up from 1.7 exabytes per month in 2016.