As consumers become more data-savvy, voice calling reduces substantially. Once smartphone penetration reaches 50%, voice calling should reduce dramatically with consumers mostly using data (social networking apps) to connect with people. Data usage requirement is high while commuting when WiFi is not available. Therefore, as data usage grows, telcos will need to shift to WiFi hotspots.
From operators' perspective, FTTH and WiFi hotspots are cheaper options to offer data. These also decongest the core 4G network via data offload. There are about 10m hotspots in China, which allow huge amount of traffic offloading. India is expected to move toward a similar model in future.
Service expectations of data consumers are very different from those of voice consumers. We note that consumers have experienced some instances of call drops in the past, but still were largely loyal to their service providers. However, with many day-to-day activities of consumers happening online on mobile phones, slow data speed may not be accepted and cause subscribers to change service providers.
Current high usage / sub has deteriorated customer experience. Reliance Jio 4G outlets have started receiving complaints that data speeds are down by ~70-80% over three months
. Thus, better customer service is the key to be able to adopt premium pricing and also to remain competitive.