LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 INDIA: India is one of the world’s most exciting and fastest-growing mobile markets and by 2020 will account for about a third of the one billion new mobile subscribers that will be added worldwide in that timeframe, noted Mats Granryd, GSMA’s director general, in his keynote this morning.

Granryd started his presentation with an update on the “state of mobile” in India, the second largest mobile market globally after China, and explained how mobile is facilitating innovation across the country and contributing to its vision of a “Digital India”.

He noted that mobile is a major contributor to social and economic development, generating 6.5 per cent of GDP in the region last year, or more than $140 billion. That figure is expected to grow to $210 billion in 2020.

“With a gradual reduction in data tariffs and growing availability of affordable smartphones, the number of 3G/4G connections will jump about 55 per cent to more than 670 million by 2020, when mobile broadband will account for almost half of the total connections,” he said.

A rapid rollout of 4G networks is expected to drive 4G connections from just three million at the end of 2015 to 280 million by 2020.

“We also see a strong local mobile ecosystem contributing to the economy in India. Through the ‘Make in India’ campaign, more than 25 vendors are now manufacturing cost-effective smartphones locally in India. In fact, over two-thirds of the smartphones shipped in the first quarter of 2016 were assembled within the country,” he said.

He said that India is now the world’s second largest smartphone market, overtaking the US in the first half of the year, with an installed base of 275 million smartphone connections as of June.

The country’s mobile penetration is forecast to expand from about 50 per cent to 68 per cent in just over three years.

Single login
Granryd noted that India is taking a leadership in driving the adoption of technologies such as digital identity. In July, six of India’s leading operators – Aircel, Bharti Airtel, Idea, Tata Teleservices, Telenor and Vodafone India – launched the GSMA’s Mobile Connect authentication solution to more than 800 million consumers across the country.

The Indian operators’ launch of Mobile Connect adds to the global momentum behind the solution, he said, with 42 operators in 22 countries implementing Mobile Connect, making
it available to nearly three billion customers.