How many gigabytes of data on average did Indians consume each month in 2023?
| Photo Credit: Haider Ali Khan

Indian users on average consumed 24.1 gigabytes (GB) of data per capita per month in 2023, according to the 11th edition of Nokia’s Mobile Broadband Index (MBiT). The index that focused only on India predicted that by the end of 2024, per capita data usage would touch around 28 GB.

In terms of data traffic, 4G still leads with over 85 percent share in 2023 followed by 5G at around 14.8 percent. The report expects 5G data usage to touch 310 exabytes (EB) per annum by 2026.

The Nokia MBiT report found that 5G users are using 3.6 times as much mobile data traffic compared to 4G since its launch in October 2022. Whereas the 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) users consume 2.5 times more data than normal 5G users.

In 2023, users consumed 17.4 EB data per month with a CAGR of 26 percent over the past five years. The launch of 5G has contributed 15 percent of all data traffic in 2023.

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The report estimates 575 million 5G subscribers by 2026 from 131 million in 2023. In total, there would be 1,155 million 4G and 5G subscribers by 2026.

In 2023, there were 796 million active 4G devices and 134 million 5G units. It also says that there are around 17 percent active 4G devices that are capable of 5G.

The 5G traffic has shown growth across all telecom circles, with metro leading with a 20 percent share in the overall mobile data traffic, followed by Category A (17%), B (12%) and C (14%). Pan-India, it is around 15 percent.

Enhanced 5G availability and performance, coupled with the availability of wide range of affordable devices, as well as the introduction of new data-intensive apps and services, will accelerate future 5G growth, the report mentions.

Further, the study estimates that new age technologies like metaverse, AI/ML, cloud and web 3.0 will shape the tech space by 2030.

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