On that front, Samsung, the largest smartphone manufacturer in India by volume and value, said it will now only launch 4G supported smartphones in India.
Because of its dominance in the country, the move is likely to force incumbent players to follow the suit as well, though many are already selling low-cost LTE smartphones.
India has over 250 million smartphone users, but not even 100 million of those handsets support 4G LTE, according to Counterpoint Research.
“There is huge conversion happening from feature phones to smartphones at the entry level. This migration will continue. All the future launches, including entry level segment, will have 4G facilities and we will sell 4G devices,” Manu Sharma, vice president of mobile business at Samsung India, told IANS.
Though 4G networks have been available in India through select telecom operators for more than three years, the vast majority of users in the country have only made use of it in the recent times. And many of them have India’s richest man to thank for it.
India’s largest industrial house RIL opened its Jio 4G-only network earlier this year to testers and commercially launched it to all last month. The company has been offering a huge chunk of data and services to consumers in India for free for several weeks (and months, in case of early testers), and will continue to do so till the end of this year.
Moving forward you can expect 4G LTE support to become a hygiene feature in every new smartphone, with even those priced as low as Rs 2,500 ($75) to come with LTE support by the end of the year.