As smartphone use has increased in India, the demand for better services has as well and, soon 4G LTE will arrive.
The soft launch of 4G LTE in India started in December of last year with announcements from Reliance Jio Infocomm, Idea Cellular, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone. Reliance's launch was only for employees when it was announced on December 28, 2015, with plans for a commercial launch by March or April of this year. Idea also soft-launched the service in December, starting with several major towns including Kochi, Hosur, Kadapa, Mallapuram, Madurai, Mysore, Rajahmundry, Tiruchirappalli, Tirunelveli, Tiruppur, Vijayawada and Vishakhapatnam. "Belgaum, Calicut, Cuddalore, Chitradurga, Guntur, Kakinada, Kancheepuram and Trichur will follow by 31 December 2015," said Idea, adding that it "will rapidly expand 4G services in all Southern India metros and large towns including Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Trivandrum, Mangalore and Coimbatore by March 2016." Airtel launched pan-India 4G services in 296 towns and Vodafone started its 4G services at the end of 2015.
According to a new report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, India is expected to reach 90 million 4G subscribers and a 4G smartphone base to reach 180 million by 2018. Another report by Strategy Analytics suggested that India will overtake Japan as the third-largest global 4G LTE market by 2016. The report added that by 2017, India will also overtake the United States' position as the second-largest smartphone market. It added, "This is fuelled [sic] by the fact that the Indian government has spent $32 billion on 4G services — clearly making 4G the next generation technology driven by handsets and telecom players."
Photo: © iStock.