Pricing and bundling are crucial for India’s 5G adoption

According to industry executives and analysts, competitive pricing, attractive bundles of value-added services, and strong network quality are essential for promoting the use of 5G services. They went on to say that while India’s telcos may find inspiration from markets like the US, South Korea, and China, they must also take into account the reality that the South Asian country is a much more price-sensitive market with over 300 million people still using feature phones.

According to a report by Fitch Ratings, 4G speeds in India are sufficient for the majority of existing applications. Given the limited penetration of 5G devices (below 5%), the device ecosystem also has to swiftly evolve for greater 5G adoption in the price-sensitive Indian market.

Therefore, while value-for-money price propositions have always been essential to a company’s success in India, there isn’t much room for mistakes if Indian telecom service providers (TSPs), such as Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, and Vodafone Idea, are to rapidly grow their 5G client base.

According to Neil Shah, vice president of research at Counterpoint, the reasons why 5G has been successful in the nations where it has been introduced are because the pricing and bundling were done correctly, along with constant coverage growth and high network quality. The US has a penetration rate of about 35%, while South Korea has more than 50%. These markets developed a compelling case for 5G, offering either fantastic bundling or prices with unlimited bandwidth and noticeably better coverage than 4G.

In many Asian regions, the most significant factor in the adoption of 5G has been the inclusion of 5G-rich content in 5G plans. For instance, SK Telecom (SKT) in South Korea includes entertainment (including the brand-new Ifland metaverse offering) and e-commerce services, as well as in-app payments, in its premium 5G packages.

The temptation of unlimited internet has enabled carriers to hasten the adoption of 5G among consumers in the US. All three have provided constant coverage and excellent network quality to support pricing and bundling.

Shah said that the UK, on the other hand, has made little progress because the coverage did not increase quickly.

India is anticipated to have 500 million 5G customers by 2027, according to an Ericsson analysis. In another report, Nasscom predicted that by 2030, 5G would account for up to 2% of India’s GDP, or $180 billion. But for all of this to happen, India’s carriers will need to use wise planning.

The telecom sector anticipates that the transition from 4G to 5G will go more quickly than the transition from 3G to 4G.