TECH SUPPLIER Dec 2020 - Market Analysis Perspective - Doc # AP45982620

Market Analysis Perspective: India Mobile and Fixed Telecom Market Overview

By: Shiv Putcha

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Abstract

India's telecom market has undergone significant changes in the last year, especially in the mobile market segment. In 2020, telecommunications connectivity spend has been resilient, especially as many workers were furloughed and migrated to work-from-home (WFH) models because of the COVID-19 pandemic. IDC now expects reduced spending to result to a 7.2% year-over-year (YoY) decline in 2020 but a sharp recovery to 4.3% for 2021.

4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) will continue to be the primary platform for mobile broadband in India. IDC expects the share of 4G mobile connections to increase from 59% in 2019 to 96% in 2024, making it the dominant technology.

Meanwhile, 5G remains a problematic issue in India, with the government trying to balance the need for revenues from spectrum auctions with the country's major communications SPs' dire financial states. As a result, 5G is unlikely to gain scale in India over the forecast years, representing just 3% of the total mobile connections by 2024. More than ever, India needs proactive and progressive policy intervention from its government and its regulator, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The Digital India initiative has already created a good start, but relevant policy specifics must still be implemented — not only to catalyze the telecommunications sector but also to ensure its survival.


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