The fast-growing Indian market, with more than 845 million mobile connections, could become Ericsson’s second largest market in two to three years.
The world’s largest mobile infrastructure company sees huge demand for not just 3G and 4G network gear, but also for its higher-margin managed and professional services in the emerging Indian market, Chris Houghton, the Swedish company’s head of India, told the Economic Times.
The US and China are Ericsson’s two top markets today. India is tied for third with Japan.
India is its fasting growing market – revenue increased 20 per cent in Q4 from a year ago. The prospect of continued strong growth comes at a good time for the company, which last week reported a 35 per cent drop in its net profit and a 2 per cent fall in revenue in Q4.
CEO Hans Vestberg reiterated during the results announcement the company’s ambitions to grow beyond traditional network infrastructure. “In line with our strategy, we have invested into our targeted areas; IP networks, Cloud, TV & Media, Industry & Society and OSS & BSS,” he stated.
India is gearing up for 2G and 3G spectrum auctions in a month, which will free up additional spectrum and spur a new round of infrastructure investment in the country.
4G service is currently limited to a few locations. Bharti Airtel and Aircel have introduced 4G services in selected cities, but Reliance Jio has not yet launched 4G service (it has a pan-India 4G licence). Annual 3G and 4G subscriber growth is projected at about 50 per cent this year, according to GSMA Intelligence.