We are living in an interesting time where 5G is finally making inroads in the mature markets like the US, the UK, China, and South Korea, among others. But more interestingly, while these markets are transitioning from 4G to 5G, a lot of emerging markets are stuck on 2G. Even markets like India, which is now the second-biggest smartphone market in the world, has 4G connectivity, but 2G and 3G feature phones are still relevant.
The challenge for telecom operators here is to convince these 2G/3G feature phone users to upgrade to a 4G enabled smartphone. But given the budget constrains of these users, operators and handset vendors need to develop low-cost devices that connect the unconnected to the internet. It also opens up opportunities to bring smart feature phones that support apps like WhatsApp, YouTube, digital payments like mPesa, and more.
In the latest episode, “The Counterpoint Podcast” host Maurice Klaehne and associate director Tarun Pathak discuss the feature phone market which has a sizeable chunk of share. The discussion focuses on different topics like opportunities for both handset vendors and network operators. Even a popular feature phone chipset maker like Unisoc can have a bigger role from the 5G NR IoT perspective.
Detailed whitepaper highlighting Cellular Technology Transitions and Potential for SoC Players can be found here.