"In first quarter of 2015, 4G share in both (India and Indonesia) was well below the global average, at 4 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively.
4G unit share within smartphones is expected to reach 7 per cent in India and 10 per cent in Indonesia in 2015," the latest GfK report on global smartphone market said.
The report did not provide India specific smartphone sales number but as per Cybermedia Research, smartphone sales in India dipped 7 per cent in the first quarter this year to 19.5 million units, impacted by change in duty structure and restricted supplies from China.
Smartphone sales increased by 7 per cent to 309.7 million in the reported quarter from 290.1 million a year ago. The growth of smartphone sales in India and Indonesia is also expected to be helped by an expanding 4G network.
This growth was over 19 per cent in first quarter of 2014 as compared to the same period of 2013. The sales value of smartphones increased 8 per cent to USD 96.2 billion during the quarter on year-on-year basis from USD 89.2 billion.
"In first quarter 2015, 4G unit share surpassed 50 per cent of global smartphone demand for the first time. China saw the greatest 4G share increase in the quarter, up 16 percentage points to 73 per cent, from 57 per cent last quarter," the report said.
GfK forecasts global smartphone unit demand to grow over 10 per cent y-o-y in 2015, a slowdown from the over 23 per cent growth experienced last year. "Emerging Asia is forecast to be the fastest growing region, driven by India and Indonesia, where low smartphone penetration leaves plenty of room for growth," Director of trends and forecasting at GfK, Kevin Walsh said.
In India, Airtel, Reliance Jio Infocomm and Reliance Communications have the capability to start pan-India 4G service. Airtel has started providing 4G service in Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune, Chandigarh and Amritsar at 3G mobile Internet rates.
Besides, Aircel, which holds 4G spectrum in eight out of 22 telecom circles, has also launched 4G in select area. Videocon Telecom has announced its plan to launch 4G services in UP and Bihar by December at rates at par with 2G and 3G Internet services.