Everyone's Buying A 4G Smartphone To Use It On A 3G-Like Network | TechTree.com

Everyone's Buying A 4G Smartphone To Use It On A 3G-Like Network

While 4G smartphone sales keep rising, operators have simply failed to fuel the 4G hype.

Everyone's Buying A 4G Smartphone To Use It On A 3G-Like Network

So you purchased a shiny new 4G capable smartphone in Mumbai after signing up for instalments or shelling out half your salary to pay for it, just to realise that 4G has not reached Mumbai quite yet.

Well, who cares? There’s 3G to meet your high speed connectivity needs right? The same 3G networks that somehow always leaves you waiting for a signal when you really need to send that important email or are waiting for that restaurant listing to load on your browser.

Clearly, the only reliable service network band available in India is EDGE or 2G. And no matter how much or how well your operator markets its data services, they will never be up to the mark.

CMR data points out that everyone’s buying a 4G smartphone. From flagships to entry level devices, Indian consumers are busy making future proof purchases for a 4G future that does not exist (not until September at least).

Its been 5 long years and Indian consumers have grown so tired and weary of waiting for 4G to arrive, that they have actually given in to even buying 4G smartphones; even when there is no 4G to connect to.

3G was clearly a mess, right from the auctions for spectrum, to implementation and looking at the current speeds that we get, its far from international standards with high latency and over-crowded networks.

Operators are blaming the government for space to set up more towers and the government is blaming the operators for networks that break under pressure, resulting in dropped calls and slow data speeds.

Indeed, the one who gets stuck in the middle is the consumer. Subscribe to a 3G plan on an Android/iOS smartphone and you are left wondering if 2G or your older EDGE data plan was faster (or at least reliable at best on your old BlackBerry).

CMR’s data points to another choice that indicates the reluctance of consumers to spend on 4G. The data points out that while many 5.7 million 4G smartphones have been sold, a majority of them come from the budget segment. Yes, handsets made by Lenovo and Xiaomi are selling well, but Samsung stole the show by grabbing an overall 30% in sales (last quarter).

Lenovo's entry-level 4G smartphone, the A2010 sells for just Rs 4999.

The bottom line is, that consumers are not willing to spend big money on 4G devices. Or even if they are, they are least bothered about what network they are hooked on to as long as it gives them a minimum of 2G speeds for WhatsApp messages. Consumers need to demand the right speeds or simply switch back to EDGE networks to show their concern.

Carriers are slow to adopt, but quick to market. And after years or spectrum buying, we only have Airtel spearheading the 4G movement, with Vodafone and Reliance yet to enter the space by the end of the year.

Vodafone recently made an announcement that it literally waited and watched the market for sometime until its made up its mind. Moreover, it is only now that the company’s emerging markets have maintained their strong momentum with more of its European businesses returning to growth. Something, which acted like a confidence boost to push out services in India by December this year, even though 4G trials had begun in May.

4G smartphone sales are booming, but not because they are 4G smartphones, but just because they are future proof.

Seems like India’s 4G future is not just a slow start, it appears to be a marketing ploy for now. A space where consumers feel that slow 3G speeds have been offered to coax them to switch to what they think and expect will be super fast 4G networks.

[Related: Gear-Up For 4G LTE With These Smartphones]


Tags : 4G LTE, 4G, mobile operators, Mobile Phones