5G in India: Around 26% of the mobile subscriptions in India by 2026-end would be 5G, as per Ericsson Mobility Report. This figure in absolute terms would stand at about 33 crore 5G subscriptions. On the other hand, 4G subscriptions are also expected to grow at a CAGR of 3%, going from 68 crore in 2020 to 83 crore in 2026, the report added. The expectations in the report have come even as the country has yet to witness the commercial launch of the 5G network.
The 5G trial spectrum allocations have been made by the Department of Telecommunications recently to Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea in the 700MHz, 3.5GHz, and 26GHz bands. After this allocation, Bharti Airtel began its mid-band 5G trial network in Gurgaon Cyber Hub starting this Monday for which it is using the 5G gear provided by Ericsson, while Jio started its own trial network in Mumbai on Tuesday making use of an indigenous 5G gear.
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Notably, a previous study that had been conducted had stated that at least 4 crore smartphone users in India could subscribe to the 5G network within the first year of it being commercially available.
The trials come at a time when India is already witnessing a boom in the internet segment due to the pandemic, with users not only using the internet for remote work and learning, but also adopting the digital payments method increasingly and turning to online consultations from doctors. This increase has been highlighted by the report as well, which stated that the average traffic per smartphone user in the country went up to 14.6GB per month in 2020, increasing from 13GB a month in 2019.
The Ericsson report has further stated that the country could witness an increase in the smartphone subscriptions at a CAGR of 7%, going from 81 crore in 2020 to more than 120 crore by the end of 2026.