While India is at the brink of testing 5G connectivity, there are millions of users still using 2G for calling and data purposes. As per a stat (calculated at the end of March 2020) shared by The Wire, Bharti Airtel’s 47% user base amounting to 135 million users and Vodafone Idea’s (Vi) 60% user base amounting to 174 million users still relied on 2G networks for connectivity. These are huge numbers of subscribers still using outdated technology. So there is no question about telcos jumping their guns and removing 2G straight away from the telecom ecosystem of India. Then what is the future of 2G for India, is it going to stay longer than what some of us anticipated? Read ahead!
A couple of days back we reported that Bharti Airtel had started refarming the 2G networks in the 900 Mhz bands for 4G. In the previous year, we saw the telco doing the same with most of its 3G networks. Does this mean that Airtel is getting rid of 2G completely? Well, nothing’s confirmed!
Mukesh Ambani, Managing Director and Chairman of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) said that India needs to be ‘2G Mukt’ and should leverage 4G to lead the fourth industrial revolution which is based on technology and connectivity.
In a bid to do the same, Reliance Jio a few months back announced low-cost 4G mobiles in partnership with Google so that current 2G users can upgrade to 4G for very cheap. This would certainly be a good incentive for people to upgrade to a 4G device and further to 4G networks.
Minister of State for Communications, Sanjay Dhotre in a Lok Sabha meeting said that it rests on the hands of the telcos, whether or not they want to continue offering 2G services. Approximately 300 million users in the country are still using 2G networks for staying connected to others, that is why, the government has said that if there is a demand for 2G, there is no problem in continuing it.
What do you think about this? Do you think 2G will be phased out of the country in the next 3 years as 4G and 5G become more prevalent in the market? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!