Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report reveals India added 43 million connections in Q1.

Having shaken up India’s mobile market, Reliance Jio Infocomm on Tuesday made its presence felt on the world’s stage, driving growth in worldwide data use during the first quarter.

According to Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report, global mobile data traffic grew 70% year-on-year, and 12% quarter-on-quarter.

"Part of this increase was due to one Indian operator’s introductory LTE offer that included free data traffic," noted Niklas Heuveldop, Ericsson’s chief strategy officer and senior vice president of technology and emerging business.

Reliance Jio Infocomm shocked the Indian market in September 2016 with the launch of free, nationwide voice, messaging and 4G data services. Its aggressive strategy marked the start of a new price war, as rival players hit back with competitive offers of their own.

By February, Jio had already added 100 million subscribers, resulting in India topping the table in the Mobility Report in terms of net additions.

According to Ericsson’s report, global mobile subscriptions increased by 107 million during the first three months of 2017, with India’s 43 million net additions accounting for the biggest single share of them. China ranked second with 24 million, followed by Asia-Pacific (21 million) and Africa (9 million).

Growth in Western Europe was flat, while North America and Latin America added 3 million mobile connections each. Net additions in the Middle East came in at 2 million, as did net additions in Central and Eastern Europe.

Looking ahead, Ericsson expects global mobile broadband subscriptions to grow by 2.6 billion in the six years to 2022, reaching 8.3 billion in total. Next year, Ericsson expects LTE to overtake GSM to become the largest access technology by number of subscriptions, growing to 5 billion by 2022, up from 1.9 billion in 2016. It has taken 4G only five years to cover 2.5 billion people, whereas it took 3G eight years, the Swedish kit maker said.