India ranks above US with 275mn smartphone connections; second only to China

According to GSMA, India with its 275 million smartphone connections in Q2 2016, is now second only to China which has 910 million smartphone connections. India is ahead of the US which ranks at third spot with 259mn connections.

It is no secret that smartphone penetration is growing at an exponential pace in India. Now a GSMA Intelligence report adds gravitas to that with official numbers, calling India the second largest smartphone market globally.

According to GSMA, India with its 275 million smartphone connections in Q2 2016, is now second only to China which has 910 million smartphone connections. India is ahead of the US which ranks at third spot with 259mn connections.

A large credit for these numbers go to the locally assembled smartphones which are priced as low as Rs 3,000, and also in part due to the rapid 3G and 4G network expansion.

In an interaction with the Times of India, Alasdair Grant, the head of Asia for GSMA said that the growth in smartphone connections in India will remain strong for the coming years as 3G and 4G networks expand in the country. According to Grant, growth will also be on an upward rise thanks to new entrants such as Reliance Jio.

According to Grant, the 4G connection base is expected to accelerate from 3 million at the end of 2015 to 280 million by 2020. This will be over 50 percent of the total connections in India by 2020. Mobile manufacturers such as Samsung, Oppo, Xiaomi, Lenovo and others are ensuring that all their future phone releases will comprise 3G an 4G connectivity.

GSMA says that even the mobile operators are investing to improve the network coverage. The country should see 3G being available to 90 percent of the population by 2020 and 4G to be available to 70 percent population by then.

Since India is a market where a lot of people prefer using dual SIM smartphones, the total mobile users in the country stood at around 616 million by the end of June. According to the 'India Mobile Economy' report, GSMA thinks that around 330 mn new mobile users will be added by 2020.

A large part of these mobile user-base will also be a sort of a platform for the government to offer a variety of schemes and other services such as financial access, information dissemination and so on.

In terms of data traffic, the GSMA report said that there will be a compounded annual growth rate of 64 percent between 2015 and 2020, which is a 12-fold increase over present usage. Social networking and online communication will play a large role in this.

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