It is that time of the year again when we take a look at the next year's biggest trends.

The Indian businesses in the backdrop of demonetization will need to prepare for GST. Spends will be a bit cautious with somewhat lack of clarity in terms of overall outlook. Five technologies and trends that will make their mark in the world of enterprise networking this year may be shortlisted as blockchain, IoT, augmented and virtual reality, Triple A protection, and machine learning.

IT spending is expected to be 485,000 crore in 2017, up from453,600 crore in 2016. CIOs will participate in the building of a new digital platform with intelligence at the center. That platform will enable ecosystems, connecting businesses, and collapsing industries.

India is the second-largest mobile phone market globally with over 1 billion mobile subscriptions. Of this, smartphone users account for approximately 240 million subscriptions, which are expected to grow to 520 million by 2020. Going forward, rural adoption of data-enabled devices is expected to increase with the BharatNet initiative under Digital India. Currently, over 55,000 villages remain deprived of mobile connectivity.

With increased 4G and 3G penetration, the Internet user base in India is rapidly expanding and has reached a penetration of over 27 percent
and is expected to double to 600 million users by 2020 from 343 million users currently.

Public Wi-Fi penetration remains low. Globally, there is one Wi-Fi hotspot for every 150 citizens. For India to reach that level of penetration, over 8 million hotspots are required of which only about 31,000 hotspots are currently available.

Service providers are facing high competitive pressure, which is expected to impact the performance of the incumbent telcos during the next few quarters. The immediate next two quarters, i.e., Q3 and Q4 of FY2017 would be relatively weaker for the industry, owing to dual impact of the extension of free services by RJio and demonetization of higher-denomination currency. The extension of RJio's free offer is expected to exert pressure on the operating metrics of the incumbent telcos by pushing down the realizations, while demonetization is expected to lead to revenue loss in the pre-paid segment, especially for the next two quarters. The industry is set to face headwinds with revenues set to be impacted by 5–7 percent over the next two quarters.

Bharat exn


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