India now a world-leading mobile market

GSMA study finds the country is one of the fastest growing mobile economies -- and the leader in Asia-Pacific.
Bangalore, October 31 2016: A new study by the GSM Association, the global body representing most of the world's mobile operators,  finds that India leads the world in the growth of  the world's cellular markets, with almost a billion mobile subscribes by 2020.
The report entitled ‘The Mobile Economy: India 2016’,   suggests that  at the end of June 2016, 616 million unique users had subscribed to mobile services in India, making it the second-largest mobile market globally.
India also overtook the United States in 2016 to become the world’s second-largest smartphone market with an installed base of 275 million devices.
Improving affordability, falling device prices and operator investments in network coverage and quality  will lift  the country’s penetration rate to 68 per cent of the population (up from 47 per cent in 2015).
There is also a perceptible technology shift to mobile broadband services; the number of 3G/4G mobile broadband connections is forecast to reach more than 670 million by 2020, almost half of all connections. The mobile industry  is set to invest heavily, with operator  capital expenditure (CAPEX) growing to $34 billion (Rs 2.3 lakh crore) for the period 2016 to 2020.
In 2015, India’s mobile industry generated economic value equivalent to 6.5 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a contribution that amounts to more than $140 billion (Rs 9 lakh crore). The figure accounts for both the direct economic activity generated by mobile operators and the ecosystem of mobile industries in India. This contribution is expected to grow to $210 billion (Rs 14 lakh core) by 2020.
Mobile operators and the ecosystem provided direct employment to approximately 2.2 million people in India, as well as indirectly supporting 1.8 million additional jobs in other industries and sectors that benefit from the activity of the mobile industry. This brings the total impact of the mobile industry to nearly 4 million jobs in 2015.
As of mid-2016, around 430 million people had access to mobile internet services, a figure that will increase to almost 670 million by 2020, or about half the population. This still lags the regional average of 63 per cent penetration, and the survey found that lack of awareness and locally relevant content are the biggest barriers to internet usage.
The full report, ‘The Mobile Economy: India 2016’ in PDF format can be found here