4G Handset Queries Rise 200% In India

by CXOtoday News Desk    Feb 26, 2016


With the coming of 4G services, there was a massive 200 percent increase in searches for devices compliant with the high speed data network in 2015, according to a recent report released by Google. In contrast, searches for 3G compliant devices dropped by 35 percent in last year, it said.

In the last one year, affordable 4G smartphones have been flooding the Indian market. The report noted that there were also no significant price differential between 3G and 4G devices. A chunk of the new smartphone sales, especially at the entry-level are in 4G.

In another report released in November, Sachin Salgaonkar, Karan Parmanandka, and Simon Dong-je Woo, BoFA ML research analysts said, “We expect 4G smartphone base to jump from 5 million in FY 2015 to 180 million (18 crore) by FY 2018, leading to 4G subscribers accelerating from almost zero in FY 2016 to 90 million (9 crore) by FY 2018.”

In the next few years, there will be marginal difference between 3G and 4G tariffs as well as there will be decline in smartphone prices that may lead 2G subscribers leapfrog to 4G services and skip 3G, analysts expect.“We expect 4G net adds to be faster than 3G net adds by FY 2019 and estimate 3G subscribers to be largely restricted in areas where 4G coverage is limited. However, we do expect 3G subscribers uptake to be strong for the next couple of years, at least, as 3G coverage would likely be better than 4G coverage,” BofA ML analysts said.

Telecom majors like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea either launched their 4G services in 2015 or announced plans to launch them, ahead of the expected launch of Reliance Jio’s 4G service. Handset majors like Micromax and Samsung have announced ending their 2G device ranges and moving to only 3G and 4G.

Read more: Five Reasons To Buy 4G Enabled Smartphone

According to the report, the 4G ready phones constitute a third of shipments in the July-September period and said there has been a 75 percent decline in average price of 4G devices over the past 12 months. It said mobile devices including phones and tablets are increasingly becoming the platforms of choice for accessing Internet.

“From planning holidays to decorating homes to buying groceries, watching their favourite videos online, mobile Internet is beginning to influence, and in many cases define, a user’s first experience online,” Google India vice president and managing director Rajan Anandan told PTI.

Another report by Strategy Analytics states that India would overtake Japan to be the world’s third largest 4G LTE market by 2016. It will also surpass US to be the world’s second largest smartphone market by 2017. This is fuelled by the fact that the Indian government has spent $32 billion on 4G services - clearly making 4G the next generation technology driving by handsets and telecom players.

Several new business categories like hyperlocal, standardised accommodation are going mainstream, while digital payments and cab services among others have found a strong foothold, powered by Internet and mobile, Google said, adding over 60 per cent of all shopping-related queries and 50 percent of travel-related queries are from mobiles.