Press Release

TD-LTE Dominates 4G until Release of FDD Spectrum, India's 3G Subscriber Base to Reach 371 Million by 2017


June 14th, 2012

Global Information Inc. would like to present a new market research report, "India 4G and Cellular Market Analysis & Forecasts, 2012-2017 -- 6th Edition" by Maravedis, Inc..

With overall stagnant 2011 broadband penetration at 13.35 million primarily DSL subscribers, the Indian market represents a significant growth opportunity for the broadband wireless sector, according to the 6th edition of the report "India 4G and Cellular Market Analysis and Forecasts, 2012-2017" from Maravedis-Rethink.

3G is starting to make inroads in India and the active 3G subscriber base will reach 41 million by the end of 2012, "In India, the growth of 3G has been slower than many expected, mainly because of the high price of services," said Basharat Ashai, author of the report. "However, we believe that the availability of lower cost smartphones in the US$50 range will drive 3G growth in India in the coming years."

"As long as TD-LTE is the de facto technology for mobile broadband in India, the challenge operators face lie in bringing an inexpensive multimode (2G/3G/TD-LTE) device to consumers. Multimode devices give operators an opportunity to expand 4G with the option of fallback to 3G networks in rural and suburban areas. Operators are pressuring chipset/device manufacturers to accelerate their efforts to get the cost of multimode devices down substantially," added Caroline Gabriel, research director for Maravedis-Rethink.

Select Key Findings:

  • The TD-LTE subscriber base in India will reach 67 million by the end of 2017
  • 3G smartphones will dominate the device category with 55% market share by the end of 2017
  • The availability of content in local languages will be a key determining factor for takeup of 3G and TD-LTE service, especially in rural areas
  • Given their small amount of spectrum (5MHz), 3G spectrum holders will have to offload data traffic in the future.
  • Indian operators providing broadband wireless services in the unlicensed frequency bands (2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz) are expected to play an increasingly important role in the 3G data offload
  • By the end of 2017, Bharti Airtel is expected to lead the market in number of 3G subscribers
  • FDD-LTE variant will be deployed when 700 MHz spectrum is allocated in late 2014 or early 2015


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