India to have 966 million mobile users by 2023 but less than 5% will have 5G: report

India to have 966 million mobile users by 2023 but less than 5% will have 5G: report
A man walks past a 5G sign in Monaco, November 28, 2019. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo
  • Two in every three users are expected to have a mobile phone by 2023, while one in two users will have a smartphone.
  • Broadband users are expected to reach 700 million even as 4G users are expected to double in the same period.
  • 5G could remain relatively less popular even in 2023, with a share of under 5% of the market.
Internet and mobile usage in India is all set to cross the 900-million mark by 2023, with nearly two-thirds of the population estimated to have internet access and a mobile device. However, less than 5% of the population will upgrade to 5G by 2023, suggesting that even three years from now, 5G adoption will be slow.

However, according to a Cisco report, the growth rate of devices connected to the internet will be seven times that of the population growth rate by 2023.

The forecast states that India will have 2.1 billion connected devices by 2023, increasing from 1.5 billion in 2018. This means that at an estimated population of 1.42 billion by 2023, there will be three connected devices for every two individuals.

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Smartphones could cover 55% of the population

The report also claims that smartphones could be used by 55% of the total population by 2023, growing from 610.9 million in 2018 at a rate of 5% compounded annually.

Interestingly, internet connected devices are estimated to grow at 7% - higher than both smartphones as well as mobile connected devices. This suggests that Indians could continue to buy non-portable devices which are connected to the internet – this could include things like TVs and other home appliances.

Half of the population to have a broadband connection

Despite the pan-India availability of 4G services, the report says that Indians could increasingly opt for a wired or wireless broadband connection.

Estimates in the report suggest that nearly half of the Indian population could have a broadband connection by 2023, growing from 359.8 million in 2018 to 697.4 million in 2023 at a rate of 14.2%.

4G will continue to dominate, 5G share to be under 5%

Although 5G trials in India are expected to start some time later this year, the next-gen technology is expected to remain a rarity with a share of under 5%. 4G is expected to dominate with a share of 53.1%, while 3G and other connections will be at 38.7% of the total mobile connections.

Mobile application downloads to register explosive growth

App downloads in India are expected to register explosive growth over the next three years. The report suggests that there will be 46.2 billion apps downloaded by 2023, more than doubling from 20.7 billion in 2018.

Of these, business app downloads are expected to register the highest growth at 28.3%, with total downloads reaching 17.9 billion. Social media and messaging app downloads are expected to reach 17.8 billion, while mobile game downloads are expected to reach 10.5 billion.

See also:

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