Reliance Jio, while disrupting the telecom market in India, has also catapulted the country towards being a full-grown 4G power. According to a new report, from a developing 4G nation, India is all set to become a full-grown power in 2018. According to an OpenSignal report, India’s growth in 4G has been sped up by the entry of Reliance Jio. Internet users have been able to access Jio’s LTE signals 91.6 percent of the time, in just 6 months of its launch. Jio’s entry in the sector had kicked off an aggressive price war in the telecom market in India and it resulted in offerings of cheaper LTE services from all operators. This has driven more consumers to 4G than ever before. However, the good times for subscribers may well be over as, it seems, that Reliance Jio may now raise the price of its data offers, and it may become more of a level playing field for its rivals.
Based on predictions by Crisil, the data penetration in India will grow from 40 percent to 80 percent by 2020. Telecom companies have been providing free voice calls and affordable data plans and they have been one of the key reasons for a boost in 4G connections. Additionally, the companies have also announced cheap 4G mobiles in India and the impact will be soon be seen. Meanwhile, Andrea Toth from OpenSignal writes: “The trend will continue next year. Whether Jio remains the huge dominant driver in 4G growth remains to be seen. After a year of free and steeply discounted data pricing, Jio may make 2018 the year it raises prices. That could level the playing field for India’s operators.”
India is the 2nd biggest telecom market in the world and when it comes to LTE availability, it is ahead of countries like Sweden, Taiwan, Switzerland, even the UK. In India, “users were able to connect to an LTE signal over 84 percent of the time, a rise of over 10 percentage points from a year earlier.”
The report added, “Jio’s widespread 4G access, along with its at-first free and later heavily discounted data and voice plans, quickly won the hearts – and wallets – of more than 100 million mobile users across the country.”
Barely six months in the market this year, Jio secured its lead in the 4G availability race, “with users able to access its LTE signals 91.6 percent of the time,” according to an earlier OpenSignal national report published in April this year. No other mobile operator managed to score higher than 60 percent in these tests.