We could better call 2016 as ‘the year of 4G’, with the advent of Reliance Jio and free voice calling offerings and some exciting data packs. In fact, with Reliance Jio, the whole telecom ecosystem geared up to provide 4G and VoLTE phones. As we bid adieu to 2016, we zeroed in on few trends that we may see in the year to come:
1. Inevitable Existence in the devices segment
The year 2011, saw a record 503 players pitching against each other, however, the handset segment witnessed shrinkage in the number of players in the following years. Although, a host of companies entered the market, especially the Chinese players, but firms having a roadmap and vision in place survived the test. In 2017, we expect more weed outs of players taking place and it would be the survival of the fittest in this domain.
2. Clash of the Titans to continue
The voice and data or 4G war between different telecom service providers will continue and are unlikely to settle down next year. In fact, we may expect some good news for consumers in the form of exciting voice and data packs, but TSPs will continue to bleed as they fork out money to expand, upgrade networks and provide seamless experience to users.
3. Battle of the Batteries
After 6GB of RAM, 24-megapixel camera, it would be a battle of batteries as mobile usage reaches its peak and the need for reliable batteries arises. We may assume it would be a battle for launching heaviest batteries with Gionee’s upcoming smartphone with 7000 mAh battery already creating waves.
4. USSD to be the talk-of-the-town
With feature phones, about 60%, still dominating the handset market and the cashless buzz seeping in, we are likely to see a huge rise in unstructured supplementary service data or USSD-based mobile banking. USSD will help in sending money, checking account balance, at fingertips through a feature phone, without an internet connection. In fact, e-wallets such as PayTM have plans in store to promote transactions without internet.
5. Digital education drive
Demonetization wave, sending the message of cashless economy will further trigger the need for digital education drive. Handset companies such as Intex have already taken the initiative to impart digital education in the country, more companies are likely to follow the suit next year.
6. Noise around panic button
From next year, every cell phone needs to have a panic button or will be retrofitted, but the million-dollar question is whether the panic button will actually help in shooing away panic.
7, Augmented Reality in India
Globally, Pokémon Go was a success this year. In 2017, we expect Indian gamers majorly adopting augmented reality games with Reliance Jio’s partnership with Niantics, Inc. – publisher and developer of Pokémon GO in association with the Pokémon Company. With this tie-up, thousands of Reliance Digital Stores and select partner in India will appear as ‘PokéStops’ or ‘Gyms’ in the Pokémon GO game.
Having over six years of experience in business journalism, Krishna has a knack for writing on telecom and IT. She believes that tryst with technology is the best thing that has ever happened to the mankind. Krishna is a telecom analyst with CMR