India is expected to add 206 million new subscribers by 2020 while China is expected to add another 155 million subscribers.
About one-third of total global mobile subscribership are from the world's two most populous nations — China and India – and the number will continue to grow in the next few years, according to a study by GSMA. The study said India will add more new mobile subscribers than China over the next four years and hinted at a continuation of the trend.
According to the report on global technology and telecom, the country’s smartphone market will grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23 percent through 2018 and would account for 30 percent of the global growth during the period.
“We expect India to overtake the US next year as the second-largest smartphone market by units. India will grow nearly five times faster than the world’s largest smartphone market China, where growth has decelerated,”
The study titled "The Mobile Economy: Asia Pacific 2017" by GSMA said that Asia Pacific, which has been the biggest contributor to global subscriber growth in recent years, will continue to witness growth till the end of the decade. There were 2.7 billion unique subscribers in the region by the end of the 2016 and about 460 million are expected to be added by 2020, taking the total to 3.1 billion which is three-quarters of the population. The region accounts for more than half the world's mobile subscribers.
Asia Pacific will account for almost two-thirds of new subscribers globally by 2020 and will have the second highest growth of any region (behind Sub-Saharan Africa), with a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.2 percent between 2016 and 2020. The region's subscriber base will grow faster than the global average, and by 2020, three-quarters of the population will subscribe to mobile services (compared to 72 percent globally)," said the report.
The improvement in demographics, as measured by declining age dependency, has been one of the most important factors supporting higher potential growth in India… We expect consumption to maintain a relatively high growth rate, driven by an increase in per-capita income growth and an emerging middle class,”.
On consumption of data, the report said the country is on the cusp of significant growth in data traffic driven by rising data users as well as growing data usage per user.
“We expect India’s internet penetration to reach 50 per cent by 2018, up from 26 percent last year, driven by rising smartphone availability and affordability, online content and changing user behavior,” it said.
The global consultancy estimates 4G smartphones will account for 75 percent of 170 million shipments by the next year, which currently has less than 1 per cent subscriber penetration in the country.
India is expected to add 206 million new subscribers by 2020 with a penetration rate of 65 percent, while China is expected to add another 155 million subscribers during the same period of time, bringing the total to 1.2 billion (86 percent of the population), according to the study. The low penetration rate has indicated that India has more potential for growth in terms of new subscribers in the future.
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