Mobile broadband will witness a lot of action with the introduction of 4G services. Over the next few years, 4G will become the central point of discussions around telecom and communications.
At the two-day-long event Business Today MindRush 2015, the Managing Director of India's third-largest telecom operator Idea Cellular, Himanshu Kapania, spoke about how 4G is going to change India.
At his session titled 4G and how it will disrupt business and life, Kapania said that it is going to disrupt several industries such as retail, media, entertainment and financial services. "But above all, it is going to disrupt the lives of consumers," he said.
Kapania said that wireless industry in India has the widest service with some five lakh towns and villages connected with the telecom infrastructure. This infrastructure was built by telecom companies who have collectively invested Rs 7.5 lakh crore. "India is the second largest mobility country in the world..after China. It [telecom] contributes 3 per cent to the country's GDP," he pointed out.
Kapania said the adoption of voice services was swift. While 3G was launched in 2010, there are only about 90 million people who use the services. To take this to a billion users requires huge investments and working with consumers to make them realise the importance of wireless broadband.
"India is on the cusp of digital revolution that will transform the lives of Indians. Prices of 3G smartphones have already broken the Rs 4,000 barrier. We expect 4G to follow suit. So, the smartphone penetration is likely to jump from 150 million handsets now to 700 million handsets by 2020," he elaborated.
Kapania said with the arrival of Reliance Jio, the [telecom] market will consolidate to just five players who will offer telecom and other services - digital content, digital payments - on a pan-India basis.
"Ïndia will generate huge data volumes going ahead. It will be second-largest market in terms of data consumption. 4G will be all about capacities," he said adding that the big 4G battle will put pressure on the balance sheets of all telecom operators.