It's official—3G telcos are eating into the market shares of CDMA players in the data card segment. Meanwhile, the players are focusing on WiFi-ready data cards to cater to the needs of multiple consumers.
Historically, the CDMA players have dominated the data card business. However, according to a recent research conducted by 6Wresearch in the first quarter of the current calendar year, GSM-based units clocked 63 percent share of the overall data card shipment versus 37 percent shipment of the CDMA-based units.
According to 6Wresearch, Indian data card market shipments volume reached 1.6 million units in Q1 of CY 2014, representing a marginal decline of six percent over the Q4 of CY 2013. Huawei led the overall shipments, followed by ZTE in the CDMA segment and Micromax in the GSM segment.
During the Q1 of the current calendar year, however, the CDMA segment registered a growth of 18 percent whereas the GSM segment registered a decline of 16 percent. 4G data cards registered 16 percent share of the Indian data card market. Increase in 4G data cards is not surprising since it is a new segment with only one player in the fray. Bharti Airtel is the only one offering 4G services and that too in a few circles only.
The report further says that the players are focusing on WiFi-based data cards to cater to the needs of multiple consumers through one single device. Major players like Huawei, ZTE and Micromax have already launched WiFi data cards. Other major players are also expected to enter the WiFi data card segment over the coming quarters. Additionally, the OEMs are also focusing on the open data card market, aiming to provide viable options for Indian consumers.
A growing need for high-speed internet has resulted in an increase in demand for features such as WiFi and 4G. It is expected that 4G data cards would continue to grow and give intense competition to the 3G data card market. Increasing consumer awareness and initiatives like free WiFi zones and availability of internet in public transport would further boost the Indian data card market, says the report.
Media Source: Light Reading