With leading mobile operators gearing up to launch 4G data services in the Madhya Pradesh circle later this year, a section of subscribers may leapfrog from their existing 2G service directly on to the 4G bandwagon, giving 3G a miss, say experts.
For the uninitiated, the 'G' in 4G stands for the generation of mobile telecommunications technology. In this case, it's the fourth generation, promising a faster internet and higher download speeds.
The response to the launch of 3G services in Madhya Pradesh back in 2011 wasn't enthusiastic, to say the least. Four years on, only about 6-7% subscribers in Madhya Pradesh use 3G service, according to industry figures.
With telecom firms, including Idea Cellular and Reliance Jio, ready to roll out 4G services in MP circle in the coming months, experts say consumer response will largely depend on the pricing.
"In the last quarter, telecom companies reported an increase in revenues from data traffic. The 4G will get good response provided the pricing is aggressive as 2G is more voice-based and 3G will become obsolete. Nearly 90% of subscribers give only `100 revenue (per month), so focus will be on 10% subscribers," said telecom expert PVS Nagesh.
Another development 4G rollout is likely cause, he said, is telecom operators that have increased data prices will have to bring it down once 4G becomes operational.
Mobile phone users in Madhya Pradesh are yet to adopt 3G services in a big way due to lack of awareness and higher costs, even though growth has picked up in recent times.
"Failure of mass adoption in 3G was partially due to the perception that the 3G experience was not a significant improvement over 2G in terms of speed, and also because early on, affordability of a 3G handset was an issue," said a BSNL Indore official requesting anonymity.
"According to reports, 4G-enabled handsets will be priced below Rs 4,000, so that should result in good response," Nagesh said.
In contrast to the days of the humble 2G, many people now access internet through mobile devices and the use of mobile internet has skyrocketed after affordable smartphones hit the market.
However, in Madhya Pradesh, mobile data usage is only just picking up. While there are 6.1 crore mobile subscribers in the Madhya Pradesh circle, which includes Chhattisgarh, mobile internet user base is around the 1.3 crore mark.
On an average, the Indian subscriber uses 90 MB of data per month on a 2G network and 350 MB on 3G.
While there are 6.1 crore mobile subscribers in Madhya Pradesh circle, which also includes Chhattisgarh, mobile Internet user base is around 1.3 crore mark.