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India Will Have 15M 4G Users In A Year: PWC

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The research consultancy firm PwC predicts the 4G subscriber base in India to touch 10-15 million within a year. Thanks to superior networking experience, competitive internet usage plans (tariff battles among the leading player already heating up) and the launch of low-cost 4G LTE compatible phones.

PwC India shared its report on top trends and wish list for Indian telecom industry in 2015, and stated multiple Indian players will launch 4G on a more efficient 1,800 MHz spectrum next year. Subscribers too, they said, will adopt 4G whole-heartedly to quench their ever-increasing thirst for mobile data.

PwC India report stated. “We expect 4G LTE subscribers to reach 10-15 million by December 2015 driven by competitive pricing, superior network experience and affordable smartphones.”

The PwC also see the LTE becoming mainstream in the country within a short period.”In 2015, we will witness multiple Indian players launching 4G on a more efficient 1800MHz spectrum and Indians subscribers will adopt 4G wholeheartedly to satiate their need for mobile data,” said Arpita Pal Agrawal, PwC Leader Telecom.

Two major network providers, Aircel and Bharti Airtel, have already started providing 4G services. The services were introduced in India in the city of Kolkata in April 2012 and were extended to many cities across Punjab in July 2014. Aircel, on the other hand, launched their services in Telangana, Odisha, Assam and Bihar in July 2014.

Jio Fiber Brochure[Reliance Jio 4G brochure ]

RIL is now all set to launch their services through their subsidiary Jio Infocomm. Presently available only in the city of Jamnagar where they are being tested before being implemented across the country, the services will be extended to Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata soon though no date has been announced for the same. However, Reliance  Jio has started approaching housing societies in Mumbai with their promotional offer of 3 free months of 100mbps internet. Reliance has a Pan-India license and hopes to cover 700 cities (including 100 high-priority markets) in the coming year.

The report also states that the present Government’s Digital India and ‘Smart Cities’ initiatives will make public Wi-fi a reality and that number of Wi-fi hotspots in the country will shoot up as a result of that.

Having taken a comprehensive view of the prevailing scenario in India, it added that fierce rivalries and cut-throat competition might be seen in the telecom sector due to delayed merger and acquisition (M&A) activities of the government. Though policy makers have often expressed the need for the same, the current M&A guidelines have not been able to stimulate any consolidation in the sector.

As new networks launch their services (an obvious reference to Reliance 4G LTE) next year, data market will become a pitched battleground and “will rekindle memories of 2010 voice led price wars.”

Majority of Indian users look for reliable and affordable connectivity. Speed is not high on the wish list of a majority of those who use these services. But as the war bugle has been sounded, the slashing of prices only works out to the users’ advantage.

If we can better speed at the same price (or even lesser), we surely don’t mind. Do we?

[PWC report]

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