Rural India poised for a mobile revolution as customers upgrade to smartphones


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Ashok Prasad, a 35-year-old grocery shop owner in a small town on the outskirts of Bhimtal in Uttarakhand, has been looking to upgrade his feature phone. He wants a smartphone to watch Hindi movies and songs and get local weather updates. For this, he's willing to do two things: wait for such smartphones to get cheaper, and skip 3G and go straight for a 4G device.

Prasad represents the customer that little-known handset makers such as Jivi, Ziox and Swipe are looking to tap in rural and semi-urban India. They join bigger rivals like Samsung Electronics, Micromax Informatics and Lenovo in jumping onto the bandwagon, taking advantage of 4G network rollouts by telcos, declining device prices and rising aspirations. Experts say the entry of virtual network operators may also act as a catalyst in the adoption of 4G phones in rural areas.



This sounds like very good news, not only for the consumer but for the cell phone business as well. Every time there is a reason for more competition, it makes that sector stronger in most every way.


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In the age of globalization, people have been fully switching old hanging cables of telephone wires with handy smartphones. Some people find it the most convenient way to read news, to watch movies and to socialize. We can expect more competition in the market for cellphones in the coming years.
This could be an important step forward towards the assimilation of 4G network and leave behind the old 3G.
Low smartphone penetration, rising income and aspirations to be part of the digital age make the semi-urban and rural regions the next growth frontier for e-commerce.


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