India will have nearly 225 million 4G subscribers towards the end of 2017 – thanks to the launch of 4G feature phones, according to CMR.
40-45 percent of the existing Jio subscribers will continue to use their services after the Happy New Year offer that will expire on March 31, 2017. Jio has received 100 million subscribers during the free promotion offer.
4G feature phones will assist Indian telecom operators such as Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone, Reliance Jio, among others, to add over 53 million subscribers by the end of 2017.
India has a little over 160 million 4G users as of mid March, primarily driven by Jio’s free 4G services. India expects to add another 139 million smartphones taking the potential 4G subscriber base to 235 million. With 4G feature phone addition, this potential could cross 285 million mark by the year end.
Market research firm Counterpoint Research earlier said nearly 200 million 4G feature phones will be sold in India in the next five years. Close to 60 million units of 4G feature phones could ship this year globally from almost a million units last year, with India potentially contributing to almost half of that this year.
CMR India said 4G feature phone will not aid in unleashing the power of data capabilities of a 4G network. It will help telecom operators to bring voice users on to the same network of 4G and eventually ease their pain point of managing multiple generations of networks of 2G, 3G and 4G.