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28 February 2022
India's 5G revolution is just around the corner
India is set to add another 250 million smartphone users over the next five years, bringing the total in the country to 1 billion, as internet adoption spreads and 5G is launched.
India currently has 1.2 billion mobile subscribers, of which around 750 million are smartphone users. Deloitte’s 2022 Global TMT (Technology, Media and Entertainment, Telecom) study, reported in Economic Times, expects that to change significantly by 2026, when annual demand for smartphones is predicted to be 400 million a year.
The rural sector will grow more than twice as fast as the urban sector between 2021 and 2026 (6% CAGR vs 2.5%).
Almost all replacement phones in the urban market (95%) will be new smartphones.
In rural areas, the replacement of feature phones with smartphones will decrease as smartphones increasingly become the norm.
The launch of 5G is expected to create new high levels of demand: Deloitte says by 2026, 80% of smartphone demand will be driven by this factor alone.
The Indian government’s BharatNet programme envisages fibre broadband in all villages by 2025, as part of a plan to enable other schemes such as remote healthcare, e-learning and access to financial services. Digital marketing in India will need to adapt accordingly.