Reliance Jio continued to dominate the domestic data card market in Q2 2017, with JioFi capturing 91 percent share miles ahead of Huawei at 3 percent. JioFi’s unhindered growth has been led by its free offerings that consumers across urban and rural India have lapped up, reveals a report by Cyber Media Research (CMR). Reliance Jio recently refreshed its offer, and now allows data worth Rs 1,999 and unlimited voice calls for free to new customers buying the JioFi router. Also Read - Reliance Jio hikes prepaid plan prices from tomorrow: Here’s how you can avoid paying extraAlso Read - Reliance Jio reportedly plans to launch a tablet and TV, possibly by end of next year
The surge in JioFi consumption started in the second half of 2016, when Jio’s market share grew from 12 percent to 77 percent riding on mass adoption of 4G/LTE data cards, particularly in tier II and tier III towns. JioFi not only displaced Huawei from the top spot, but also became most shipped in terms of units. “Jio s MiFi devices [JioFi] also impacted the home router market. We expect MiFis to continue cannibalizing the entry level router market for few more quarters from now,” Narinder Kumar, analyst at CMR , stated in the report. ALSO READ: Reliance Jio offering up to 224GB 4G data to JioFi users: Here s how to claim it Also Read - Reliance Jio vs Airtel prepaid plans hiked: Here’s how much you will need to pay to get 2GB data per day
The report further indicates that JioFi’s explosive growth in small-town India could pose a challenge to incumbents like BSNL, which stand to lose broadband customers in the future. Super-fast, affordable internet services on the home router as the JioFi offers could also slow down smartphone upgrades in these regions. Customers replacing their 3G handsets with 4G ones to sample faster, better internet are now upgrading their routers instead. Hence, 3G card shipments declined 61 percent in Q2 as compared to the first quarter. ALSO READ: Reliance Jio launches JioFi JioGST starter kit
Overall data card shipments in the country grew 16 percent in Q2 2017 to 4 million units. Cards with a data rate of 150Mbps accounted for 97 percent of these shipments. Alcatel witnessed sharp growth in shipments though its market share remained flat. But ZTE and D-Link routers declined considerably through the quarter. For Huawei, which is a distant second after JioFi, market share plunged from 36 percent late last year to 10 percent in Q1 2017 to a paltry 3 percent now. Evidently, the “Jio effect” is playing out not just in Indian telecom but elsewhere too.