The Higher Data Speeds and Lower Latency of 5G will Enhance Gaming Experience

The Indian mobile gaming market has been developing in quality and quantity at a fast pace while displaying substantial growth rates over the last years. The upcoming in 2022 rollout of 5G networks will bring yet another profound transformation of the mobile gaming sector. 5G connectivity will greatly enhance user experience by raising data download speeds up to ten times compared to previous 4G specs, improving spectrum efficiency up to three times, and providing ultra low latency.

А clear and updated picture of the nation’s booming online gaming industry is provided by the released in November 2021 report titled “Mobile Gaming: India’s $5Bn Market Opportunity”. The report is co-authored by analytic and managerial staff from the Indian branches of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Sequoia venture capital company.

The study highlights mobile gaming as the dominant force driving the sector, being responsible for 86 percent or $1.5Bn of the total $1.8Bn size of India’s online gaming market for 2020 including PC and console; and further projects desi mobile gaming market size to reach $5Bn by 2025.

BCC and Sequoia estimate the CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of the country’s mobile and non mobile gaming market at 39 percent for FY 2019-2020, having accelerated from the previous fiscal year’s still impressive 37 percent.

The authors attribute the booming growths to various factors, including the higher quality of smartphones with average RAM having increased three- to fourfold over the last five years, cheaper and faster mobile data plans, availability of better quality games, and the rising marketing efforts by operators combined with the increasing activity of gaming influencers and streamers.

The coronavirus-induced stay-at-home realities brought new spikes in digital adoption with online gaming providing vital opportunities for social and family interactions besides entertainment. According to the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), mobile app downloads went up by 50 percent during the pandemic, while user engagement rose by 20 percent.

Commenting on the new boost for the Indian mobile gaming sector expected with the pending 5G rollout, Qualcomm India’s Senior Director of Product Marketing Sachin Kalantari said: “Advent of 5G in India will drive this momentum even further and enhance gaming experiences due to factors like higher data speeds, lower latency, and technologies like Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Moreover, to address this upcoming demand and meet consumer expectations, many OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) have already launched a range of 5G-enabled smartphones.”

Locally Produced Chinese Brands Dominate Desi Smartphone Market

A close look into India’s “mobile-first and price-conscious” market is provided by Esse N Videri (ENV Media) in their recent report on device preferences by Indian online gamblers. The study makes a detailed analysis of primary and secondary data sets over device, OS, geographic, user experience (UX), and acquisition indicators, and establishes a clear dominance of Chinese-owned smartphone brands with local production facilities.

Primary data on organic user acquisition from prominent Indian casino affiliate site SevenJackpots shows mobile users generating 87.16 percent of all searches, while desktop users come up at 12.38 percent, and tablets make up the balance of 0.46 percent.

Focusing on the prevalent mobile market, and looking at the share split by brand of organic searches related to online casino games, we see Chinese Xiaomi leading the pack with a 23.38 percent share. The second place is taken by South Korean Samsung with 19.24 percent, but Chinese Vivo (15.25 percent), Oppo (10.68 percent), and Realme (8.87 percent) make up the Top 5.

Global leader Huawei accounts for a modest 2.14 percent, and OnePlus with its 3.95 percent share rivals Apple’s 5.44 percent in the premium smartphone segment. Thus, Chinese-owned brands combined take up a 64.27 percent slice of the Indian smartphone market.

Thanks to the Central Government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative employing financial incentives to stimulate foreign and local companies to establish manufacturing capacities within the country, all these Chinese, South Korean and US brands already have their production facilities in Noida in Uttar Pradesh, but close to the NCT of Delhi, or in Tamil Nadu or Karnataka.

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