5G networks are already live in India. However, most consumers are still on 4G. It will be a natural shift from 4G to 5G for Indian consumers in the coming years. Airtel is the only telco which has deployed 5G commercially right now, while Jio is still in the beta phase. Everyone knows that 4G is not going to go anywhere for the next few years. However, what's interesting is that 4G hasn't even seen its peak growth yet. 4G is yet to reach its peak numbers in India. It also makes sense as there are still many consumers in India who are using legacy network services from Airtel and Vodafone Idea. While 5G will be arriving in more cities and states in the coming months, 4G will still be growing rapidly till 2024.
4G will Peak in India in 2024
In India, 4G will peak around 2024. According to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report (November 2022), 4G subscriptions will reach 930 million in India in 2024, which would be the peak for 4G. Post that, 4G subscriptions are expected to dip. By the end of 2028, 4G subscriptions would dip to 570 million in India. At the same time, in 2028, 5G subscriptions in the country would reach 690 million, meaning that 5G would have a bigger market share.
Still, 4G would drive a significant amount of revenue for the telcos in 2028. Thus, they will have the big task of investing both in 4G and 5G. For the coming years, it will most likely be a 5G and 4G mixed experience for consumers. Since it would take at least more than half a decade for the telcos to reach remote corners of the country with 5G, Indian consumers will definitely get a mixed experience wherein they will get 5G in some areas and 4G in some. Thus, it will be interesting to see how the 5G tariffs would look as consumers would essentially also be consuming 4G.