State of 4G LTE Device Eco-System in India

4G EcoSystem IndiaSmartphone adoption in India is increasing at a fast pace driven largely by device affordability and increasing relevance of devices in day-to-day lives. At the same time, mass adoption of 4G in the rest of the Asia Pacific region has led to steep fall in price of LTE components and consequently LTE devices. The two factors combined with the Indian telcos’ accelerated 4G launches, are driving radical changes in the Indian smartphone market.

Around 42% of all mobile phones shipped into India in CY2015 were smartphones as compared to 10.8% in CY2011; during the same period (CY2011-15), total smartphone shipments grew at a CAGR of more than 50% (source: Gartner). 4G devices are also increasingly

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Idea + Vodafone Prepare for 4G LTE Launch; SmartPhone Sales Rise

Vodafone 4G LTE LaunchPost Airtel’s 4G launch we expect both Idea and Vodafone to commercially launch 4G in select urban cities, mainly from a branding/creating consumer perception perspective. The top 3 telcos are looking to offer 4G to prevent their subscribers from being poached by Jio, which will launch as a 4G-only telco. In our view, both Vodafone and Idea will launch 4G only in select cities (rather than entire states) where they are seeing material data uptake and an increase in improvement of 4G smartphones. Given declining 4G smartphone prices and considering that 4G data tariffs could be cheaper/at par with 3G, we believe that 4G uptake may positively surprise despite a smaller rollout.

Airtel launched its 4G because

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High Speed / Fast Charging SmartPhones – New USP

SmartPhones With Fast Charging BatteriesIn the past two years, big screen phones have been gaining popularity. Due to the bigger size of battery, phablet battery hours usually are longer. According to Apple, iPhone 6+ can last 24 hours’ talk time on 3G vs 14 hours for iPhone 6. This is because iPhone 6+ has a 2,915 mAh capacity battery, 61% larger vs iPhone 6’s 1810 mAh. However, the downside is that charging takes much longer. For example, it can take 3~4 hours to fully charge an iPhone 6+.

Samsung adopted fast charging in Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S6. We expect many international and Chinese brand smartphones to start adopting similar technologies with models launching in 2H15. High Speed / Fast Charging SmartPhones constitute < 10% of the market today and is expected

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Idea’s Risk of Spectrum Renewal in 2015 Auction, LTE Delay A Risk ?

Idea Spectrum Renewal ChallengeIn the upcoming 2015 mega spectrum auctions, Idea Cellular has 900 Mhz spectrum up for renewal in 9 circles accounting for about 72% of Idea’s last twelve month (LTM) revenues. In 2 circles (Gujarat and UP (West)), Idea has almost no back-up spectrum to offer voice services and about 15% of its revenues from these circles would be at high risk if it is unable to renew the spectrum.

In the upcoming spectrum auctions in February 2015, 59 MHz of 900 MHz and 9.2 Mhz of 1800 Mhz frequency of Idea are coming up for renewal. If we take DoT reserve prices as the auction price, we expect total renewal outgo to be Rs172 bn for Idea following the auction.

Idea has significant gaps in its

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Which SmartPhones are 4G LTE Compatible to Airtel / Reliance Jio ?

4G LTE HandsetsMukesh Ambani of Reliance Jio Infocomm is best known to create hype over his unborn ventures so that it becomes a self marketing tool. Even though Airtel has successfully launched 4G LTE Services, we have had very few inquiries regrading Airtel 4G and dozens of e-mails from our readers asking us to list out all the 4G LTE compatible handsets with Reliance Jio Infocomm.

How to Choose a 4G LTE Compatible Phone ?
One should be careful to see which 4G LTE compatible phones will actually work in India ? Follow these steps.
1. Identify the SmartPhone Handset or Model.
2. Then goto to the section which

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What is the State of 4G LTE Globally ?

State of 4G LTE GloballyAs we began the year 2014, 244 Wireless Operators have commercially launched LTE networks in 92 countries and 499 operators investing in LTE in 143 countries.

4G LTE can be deployed in two different combinations and the Relative Comparison of FDD LTE vs. TDD LTE is as shown below.
Deployment Frequency – TDD is offered primarily in the above – 2 GHz spectrum range whereas FDD is offered in the sub-2 GHz spectrum (700, 800, 900, 1800, 2100)
Paired Spectrum – TDD does not require paired spectrum as both transmission and reception occur on the same channel. FDD requires paired spectrum with sufficient frequency separation to allow simultaneous transmission and reception. TDD LTE ensures maximization of available bandwidth as the download to upload ratio are flexible.

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SlowDown at the Top End of SmartPhone – iPhone / Galaxy

Slowdown at Top End of SmartPhone SpectrumIn the past three years, high-end smartphone has been one of the biggest growth drivers for the semiconductor industry given robust unit growth and substantial semi content increase. However, a perceived lack of innovation (e.g. iPhone 5, Galaxy S4) and delays in purchases have resulted in a sharp slowdown of high-end smartphone demand in 2013. Both iPhone 5 and GS4 turned out to be major disappointments. Given Apple and Samsung together account for more than 3/4th of the total high-end smartphone market, it’s a clear sign that high-end demand is slowing down.

The biggest culprit is apparently Apple, as we expect Apple’s high-end smartphone shipments to decline Y/Y in 2013 (we defined Apple’s high-end model as all the iPhones except for iPhone 4, but we do

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Korea Leads in Global 4G / LTEvolution & Data Consumption

Korea Leads the Global LTEvolution4G LTE has led to a big jump in data consumption behaviour as shown in Figure 3, with Korea leading the global curve with ~1 GB/month and ~1.8 GB/month of data usage in 2011 & 2012, respectively, versus the global average of 342 MB/month and 1.3 GB/month. The Cisco Visual Networking Index is forecasting a 30.8% CAGR for 2012-17 in average global traffic per device with smartphones accounting for ~70% of data traffic by 2017.

LTE ARPU lies in its tiered data plans. Unlike Korea’s 3G

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South Korea Achieves Full Nationwide 4G LTE Coverage

SK Telecom 4G LTEKorean telcos showed disappointing performance in 2012 due to the heated LTE marketing competition during that period. With all three telcos equipped with nation-wide or near nation-wide LTE networks, the telcos engaged themselves in heated marketing competition to attract more LTE subscribers. As a result, the telcos managed to increase the LTE subscriber portion of their subscribers and finally posted ARPU turnaround, but overall reported weak earnings in 2012.

At this point, we believe

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4G VoLTE to Gain Traction in 2013

Voice over LTE (VoLTE) is gaining momentum, with likely adoption this year in North America, Hong Kong, and Japan given increasing chipset (Qualcomm, Broadcom, ST-Ericsson) and handset (LG, Sony) availability. VoLTE is important for telcos as it can enable differentiating features such as HD voice, in-call multimedia sharing, and video calling, helping them combat the … Read more