Average 3G user consumes four times more data than 2G user: Nokia Siemens Networks report

23 May, 2013

An average subscriber to 3G services uses almost four times as much data compared with an average 2G user, according to a Nokia Siemens Networks report on the mobile data traffic in India. As 3G services spread further with declining price of 3G-enabled smartphones, this would mean more business opportunities for both creators of such data content as well as telcos providing such services through higher data consumption.

A 3G user consumes 434 MB per month on an average while a 2G user consumes 115 MB per month, according to the report which tracked usage throughout 2012.

Overall, the data generated by both 2G and 3G services in India have increased by 92 per cent in 2012. During this period, the traffic generated by 3G services rose by 196 per cent while that generated by 2G services increased 66 per cent.

"The fact that data consumption by 3G users has tripled in one year clearly shows the rapid and steady increase in mobile data consumption in India. This translates into the need for high-quality mobile broadband services with improved speed and service quality to satisfy mobile broadband users," said Sandeep Girotra, head of India region at Nokia Siemens Networks.

Mobile data traffic on 3G network in the country grew 54 per cent while it recorded 18 per cent growth on 2G in the second half (June-December) of 2012, according to the report. In the first half of 2012, 3G data traffic grew 78 per cent while 2G data usage increased 47 per cent.

According to the report, 2G data growth stabilised in second half of the year due to high-end 2G users migrating to 3G services owing to tariff reduction by operators, with category A circles seeing the maximum impact. However, in category A circles, half the number of smartphone users still use 2G for data.

The trend in mobile data growth in the country is in line with other high growth mobile data markets around the world and the report forecast that operators worldwide will need to be prepared to provide 1GB of personalised data per user by 2020.