|Jio, although credited with bringing 4G in to India, has also made the incumbents like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea to ramp up their technology resulting in they also investing in 4G networks. As a consequence, while Jio being the 4G leader operator with 160 million subscribers at the end of December 2017, has only managed to increase 122% (88 million) subscribers in the year 2017, as against 457% (64 million) by the incumbent mobile operators.
“Though laggards, incumbents have managed to increase their 4G subscriber base 3.8 times more than the disruptor operator Jio during 2017. This could be attributed to incumbents aligning their 4G offering to that of Jio in terms of price as well as content,” said Faisal Kawoosa, Head – New Initiatives, CMR.
At the same time incumbent operators have focused on rural markets which contributed to their growth in 4G. “The early adaptors were leveraged by Jio primarily in the urban space and as incumbent operators got ready with their 4G in full scale, they focused on rural markets to look for growth,” added Faisal.