Indian telecom operators need to be at the forefront with their 4G offerings. While one operator (BSNL) in the country almost has a non-existent 4G subscriber base, the other one (Vodafone Idea) is losing subscribers quite fast. Since 5G is going to be the next big thing, the telcos and consumers both are focusing more on 5G than 4G.
The truth of the matter is, Indian telecom users can do without 5G networks if they get true 4G speeds wherever they are. The telecom service providers (TSPs) need to work on multiple areas if they want to offer better 4G services to their users. Focusing on 5G for offering better speeds isn’t the answer.
Government Should Support Operators Such as Vodafone Idea
Firstly, the government needs to show its support towards the operators if it wants the Indian consumers to be able to experience the true potential of 4G. More financial pressure should not be forced upon cash strapped telcos such as Vodafone Idea (Vi).
The government could have relaxed the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) dues for the entire industry by some percentage instead of burdening the telcos with thousands of crores as a liability at a time when there is a serious need for Capex spends on networks and spectrum.
If Vi had the money to invest in expanding its 4G network coverage, the telco would see really great positives in the medium-term. Due to losing subscribers primarily because of low network coverage, users are hopping on to the networks of Jio and Airtel that promise a better coverage than Vi.
In turn, the 4G networks of Jio and Airtel are getting congested. The newly added spectrum resource should allow both Jio and Airtel to increase their network capacity; however, we would still be away from true 4G.
Telcos Need to Maintain Network Quality
The operators need to invest and re-invest heavily on their 4G networks to expand reach and capacity throughout India. Without that, users will be stuck with average quality 4G networks and will keep waiting for 5G to come.
5G will be capable of offering the kind of speeds that most of the users don’t really need. In reality, 5G will initially be advantageous for Internet-of-Things (IoT), Industry applications 4.0, and other such related things. Any average user in India can do almost everything with his/her 4G network if they get true 4G speeds.
India Still Lacks True 4G
Sadly, even after several years, Indians haven’t been able to feel what true 4G is like. This is because of the government, the telcos, and no smart planning for big cities. A day before yesterday, we said that Vodafone Idea and BSNL’s comeback in the market could truly change how Indians consume 4G; and we stand by the statement.
5G plans would be unnecessary for most of the consumers in terms of benefits and will also be very expensive than 4G plans. Thus, all the operators in the country should push to offer a true 4G network experience to the customers instead of rushing to release 5G services.
With all the four operators in the 4G game, users would get more options, and the market would evolve into a better place for the customers.