At 7 million, India saw highest mobile subscriber addition in Q2: Ericsson

With seven million new subscribers, India accounted for the highest net addition of mobile subscriptions globally in the second quarter of 2023, according to the August edition of Ericsson Mobility.

Among national markets, India was followed by China with five million and the US with three million subscribers.

The subscriber penetration in India, however, stood at 79 per cent, compared to 120 per cent in China, the report said.

The global mobile subscription penetration stood at 105 per cent.

Released on Tuesday, the report also revealed that the global 5G subscriptions grew by 175 million in Q2 2023.

The ongoing 5G rollout in India is widely expected to have contributed significantly to this increase.

Globally, the number of mobile subscriptions totalled 8.3 billion, with a net addition of 40 million subscriptions during the quarter.

The number of unique mobile subscribers reached 6.1 billion worldwide.

The number of mobile broadband subscriptions swelled by about 100 million in the quarter, totalling 7.4 billion   a year-on-year (Y-o-Y) increase of 5 per cent.

Mobile broadband now accounts for 88 per cent of all mobile subscriptions.

The Q2 additions brought the global number of 5G subscriptions close to 1.3 billion, the report said.

Approximately 260 communications service providers (CSPs) have launched commercial 5G services.

About 35 CSPs have launched 5G Standalone (SA) networks.

In Standalone (SA) mode, the network is built solely on 5G, whereas in Non-Standalone (NSA) mode, the 5G network is added as a layer on an existing 4G radio network.

Reliance Jio has launched its network in SA mode, while Bharti Airtel has opted for NSA.

Meanwhile, 4G subscriptions swelled by 11 million, totalling around 5.2 billion and representing 62 per cent of all mobile subscriptions.

Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) and High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA), two 3G technologies, declined by 85 million over the quarter.

GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions, which are 2G technologies, dropped by 59 million during the quarter.

Other technologies fell by about two million.

Mobile data traffic grew by 33 per cent year-on-year between Q2 2022 and Q2 2023. The quarter-on-quarter (Q-o-Q) mobile network data traffic growth was around 6 per cent.

Forecast traffic growth is driven by the continued strong uptake of smartphone subscriptions and an increasing average data volume per subscription, fuelled by data-intensive services like video, the report added.

It highlighted that large differences in traffic levels remain between markets, regions, and service providers.

Jio bats for flexible use of spectrum

Reliance Jio’s satellite communication arm has written to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) requesting for the  flexible use of spectrum for satellite and terrestrial uses. In a letter to Trai chairman P D Vaghela, it pointed to the recent decision by the New Zealand government to allow a sharing model between mobile and satellite for 27.5-28.35 GHz spectrum.

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