India - Mobile Infrastructure, Broadband, Operators - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 14 Feb 2020 Update History

Report Pages: 102

Analyst: Sebastien De Rosbo


India’s mobile market dominates the local telecom sector with its large subscriber base and revenue numbers, as well as the huge capital investment by operators. It has continued to be a highly competitive market in which a large number of providers have been battling to increase market share.

India’s mobile market has experienced very strong growth over the last six years. The market remains highly competitive, but rather than a focus only on growth in subscribers the market is shifting to value-added. The roll-out of 4G / LTE services is driving significant shift to mobile data services across the country.

Particularly strong growth was seen as newcomer Reliance Jio aggressively entered the market, initially with a free data offering. This has seen a sharp drop in ARPU amongst most mobile operators and a sharp loss of subscribers by some operators. The subsequent price war in the mobile sector intensified further and has severely hampered RCOM’s business in particular, with its subscriber base nearly entirely wiped out.

Slower growth is predicted over the next five years to 2024. The market will be constrained from higher growth due to very strong local competition and an increasingly saturated mobile market.

Mobile broadband penetration has grown strongly in India over the past few years, driven by a strong and growing mobile subscriber base and strong adoption of 4G LTE services. Further strong growth is predicted over the next few years, driven by further adoption of 4G and soon 5G services particularly as the penetration rate is well below a number of other nations.

Uptake of next generation technologies such as Internet-of-things (IoT), and evolving trends such as smart cities, and new devices offering virtual reality experiences will all enhance data usage going forward. Operators will increasingly focus on infrastructure investments such as optical fibre and small cells for expanding 4G coverage and capacity.

India has taken initial steps towards the eventual rollout of 5G services. and has announced plans to establish a 5G corridor in New Delhi as part of its testing of the technology.

Key developments:

  • India has taken initial steps towards the eventual rollout of 5G services.
  • Authorities approve WhatsApp’s micro-payment service.
  • 5G spectrum auction jeopardised by high reserve prices.
  • BSNL has partnered with Ciena to conduct field trials of 5G technology.
  • Mobile broadband penetration has grown strongly in India.

Companies covered in this report include:

Aircel, Bharti Airtel, Quadrant (HFCL), Vodafone Idea, Reliance Communications, Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJI), Tata Teleservices, Vodafone Essar, Videocon, Reliance, Tata Teleservices, Sistema, Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL), Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL), Videocon.

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