Telecommunication market in India has experienced substantial growth, primarily driven by growing number of internet subscribers in the country. Over the years, demand for ‘plug-n-play’ type of internet services in India has picked momentum due to declining prices of 3G/4G data cards, affordable data plans, and BYOD. With introduction of Wi-Fi enabled data cards, market is expected to touch new height in the coming quarters.
According to 6Wresearch, India Data Card market shipments reached 1.58 million units in CY 3Q 2014. Huawei endured its market leadership followed by ZTE and iBall. In CY 3Q 2014, the market registered growth of around 7% as compared to CY 2Q 2014. During CY 3Q 2014, GSM captured lion share of the India Data Card market and faced stiff competition by CDMA Data Cards.
Source: 6wresearch India Data Card Market, Quarterly Tracker
Note: Others includes 9.8 Mbps and 100-150 Mbps Data Cards
According to Anuj Mehrotra (Research Analyst, 6Wresearch India Electronics Division), “Uptake of internet based devices such as PC, smartphones and tablets have increased the demand for data cards in the market. Also, with increasing number of mobile workforce in the country, corporates are providing data cards to their employees so as to keep them connected with the system”.
“Government initiatives towards the growth of India Broadband infrastructure as well as focus on certain key areas such as IT, Rural Education and Health programs has created an inevitable need for portable broadband services” he added.
Mobile hotspots are gaining much popularity in India and due to this the India Data Card market has witnessed several tie-ups between operators and manufacturers in the recent quarters.
In India, 4G LTE implementation is in its early stages although, the technology holds substantial potential for the growth of India Data Card market. The ownership cost of 4G Data Cards has witnessed a continuous declining trend. For instance, during CY 3Q 2013, the average price of 4G Data Cards was around INR 3,500. Whereas, it further declined and reached INR 2,100 in CY 3Q 2014.