India's 3G data traffic surged 146% in 2013, well surpassing the global average of 100%, according to annual research from NSN.
Total 2G and 3G mobile data traffic increased by 87%, but 2G data traffic is starting to stabilize, with annual growth falling to 59%.
“India is recording mobile broadband data growth figures higher than most other markets,” NSN head of India region Sandeep Girotra commented.
“With the recent spectrum auctions paving the way for acceleration of mobile broadband penetration in the country, there is a great opportunity for India to create a world-class infrastructure and improve the lives of millions of Indians.”
NSN said the average Indian 3G user consumed 532MB of data in December. This compares to an average consumption of just 146MB over 2G. In some major urban centres, the average mobile data consumption per user is as high as 1GB per month.
But the research also shows that India's 3G coverage is still lacking, with investments needed to address data demand.
In the top 50 Indian cities by 2G traffic generation, Indian operators still need to deploy anywhere between 10% and 25% more 3G base stations to match 2G coverage. Some of the top 50 cities still do not have any 3G coverage at all.