With Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) giving free 4G SIM cards and launching affordable 4G-enabled smartphones to connect the next billion, India is set to lead the 4G revolution, the International Data Corporation (IDC) said on Wednesday.
Worldwide 4G smartphones are expected to show double-digit uptake at 21.3 per cent Year-on-Year growth for 2016 to reach 1.17 billion units — up from 967 million in 2015.
“We are quickly seeing this change in key growth markets like India where new operator Reliance Jio is aggressively trying to shake up the market by handing out free 4G SIM cards and launching own-branded low-cost 4G-enabled smartphones,” said Melissa Chau, Associate Research Director, IDC’s “Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers”, in a statement.
The company commercially launched its services on September 5. Jio has introduced Aadhaar-based paper-less Jio SIM activation across 3,100 cities and towns. With Jio connection users can enjoy unlimited access to HD voice calls (on Jio eligible VOLTE phones), messaging, video calls, high-speed data as well as access to Jio’s suite of apps till December 31. The Jio SIM gives users access to unlimited 4G data, which has an FUP of 4GB per day – consuming which speed is reduced to 128Kbps.
Since the introduction of Reliance Jio, telecom majors in the country like Vodafone, Airtel and BSNL have been forced to revise their data plans to remain competitive. Even as Jio continues to fight against these established telecom players for points of interconnectivity, its subscriber base is reported to have crossed 50 million.
Also, smartphone manufacturers like Samsung have announced that they will only be launching 4G smartphones in India from now.