The country's 5G smartphone markets will expand by approximately 70% year-on-year (YoY) by the end of CY23 due to the rapid introduction of 5G networks across Indian cities and a growing consumer interest, according to a report by CyberMedia Research (CMR). 

As per the report, the Indian smartphone market recorded more than 13x growth in its shipment since 2020. 

Menka Kumari, analyst- Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CyberMedia Research (CMR) says, "From a mere 4% in CY2020 to a potential >45% market share in CY2023, 5G smartphones have definitely come a long way. In CY2022, close to 100 5G smartphones were launched in the India market. In 2023, we anticipate close to 75% of the new smartphones to be introduced in the India market to be 5G-capable."

In 2022, Samsung, OnePlus and Vivo had the highest shipments of 5G smartphones in the domestic market, whereas Xiaomi and Realme were the major contributors in the 5G value of money between ₹10,000 to ₹25,000. 

Shilpa Sinha, analyst, Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CyberMedia Research (CMR), says, "As consumers seek to switch and upgrade their phones, inclination towards 5G smartphones is bound to rise. Going forward, we anticipate further momentum for 5G smartphone shipments in the new year driven by strong consumer demand and aggressive 5G network deployment by Indian telcos."

According to another report by Global Data, between 2020 and 2026, the next generation of mobile broadband will drive mobile data usage in the country by 29% and data revenue by 67%. "Despite higher data prices, 5G promises superior service quality compared to the existing 4G networks. This should encourage digital businesses including edtech, healthtech, agritech, fintech, and e-commerce to further accelerate 5G adoption in India," said Priya Toppo, an analyst in the Thematic Intelligence team at GlobalData.

India rolled out 5G services in October last year, following the 5G spectrum auctions. The government realised ₹1.5 lakh crore from the auction with Jio acquiring the highest 22,000MHz, followed by Airtel which acquired 17,600MHz. 

In December 2022, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani said the pan-India roll-out of Jio's 5G services will be completed in 2023. "Since every single village will have 5G connectivity, India has a historic opportunity to completely erase the rural-urban divide which has plagued our country so long."

Gopal Vittal, the managing director and chief executive officer of Bharti Airtel, last year said Airtel’s 5G networks will be available across 27 Samsung models, 17 OnePlus models, 34 Vivo models, 34 Realme models, 33 Xiaomi models and 14 Oppo models.

Apple also rolled out its iOS beta or iOS 16.2 software programme, for Airtel and Jio users in December last year. The beta software is a precursor where users can test out 5G services before it is made available across all networks. 

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