5G networks seem to be a secondary concern for the consumers in India. While many are upgrading to 5G devices fast and making India a 5G-ready market for the telecom operators, there are a lot of things that the telcos haven’t addressed yet. First of all, there’s no single operator that’s really good at providing 4G network services in each of the areas of India.
Thus, a 4G network such as what we see in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) delivering a download speed of more than 100 Mbps is something that we haven’t seen in India yet. Yes, there are a lot of factors for why it is that way starting with the population in India, network congestion scenarios, and more.
Consumers in India have mostly been left dissatisfied with the telecom network services. With 5G, the telecom operators are jumping to the next ship before repairing the older one. It is not like telcos are completely leaving 4G and jumping to 5G, but with the distributed attention, there will be a slowdown in 4G expansion because 5G is going to involve very high levels of capex.
India to Still Have 4G for Years to Come, 5G to be Used for Specific Use Cases Initially
Everyone aware of the developments in the telecom market understands that 4G is going to stay for years to come. The same has been echoed by Nokia and Ericsson in their yearly reports for the country.
5G is expected to be initially brought on for specific use cases, and those might not be directly for consumers. Through the 5G trials conducted by the private telcos in India, one thing that can be observed is that 5G is predominantly going to help B2B applications initially.
Such high bandwidth is not necessary for most consumers. Even if 5G is not too expensive, consumers might stick with 4G only because a good 4G network can help a user do almost everything a smartphone is supposed to do. Be it online gaming, video streaming, or working from home, a strong 4G network can help a consumer do everything.
In such a scenario, 5G becomes a secondary concern for the consumers. A lot of users in India living in rural areas are still wishing for proper 4G coverage and better internet speeds. 5G is going to be primarily focused on urban cities in the country as they will help the telcos make their money back fast.
Time for India to go to 4.5G and 4.9G
It’s time for the telecom operators in India to step up their game. This should be an era for 5G along with 4.5G and 4.9G.
According to Amit Marwah, Head of Marketing & Corporate Affairs, Nokia India, 4.9G can deliver internet speeds close to 5G. This is a great thing for people who don’t own 5G devices and still want to continue with 4G network services.
But in the situation the telecom industry of India is in, only a few operators can provide decent network services. Half of the telecom operators in the country aren’t even profitable for years now and simply don’t have the capacity to invest in networks in an aggressive manner. Further, one operator doesn’t even have 4G networks.