OnePlus to launch multiple 5G phones, 5G FWA device in India in late 2023: Navnit Nakra – ET Telecom


 Navnit Nakra, CEO, India Region, OnePlus.
Navnit Nakra, CEO, India Region, OnePlus.

NEW DELHI: OnePlus will be launching multiple 5G products, including a 5G Wi-Fi router in India in 2023, to offer the best of the fifth-generation technology to its consumers in the country, said a top executive of the premium smartphone brand.

“This year, our commitment is to bring the best of 5G technology to our consumers in India, whether it’s a flagship phone, or a mainstream phone. We are also going to launch what is called the OnePlus Hub 5G. It’s going to be a 5G Wi-Fi router, which will be launched in India later this year, which will bring the power of connecting and collaborating with multiple devices,” Navnit Nakra, CEO, India Region, OnePlus, told ETTelecom in an interview.

OnePlus unveiled its 5G router earlier this year at the Cloud 11 event, with support for Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, 4G/5G SIM connectivity, a Home Hub with Matter protocol feature set, Home Mesh network support, along with LED indicators.

“With 5G coming into play, people are going to look at more and more things getting connected in their home, whether it’s a tablet, whether it’s a laptop, whether it’s a smart TV, whether it’s smart audio, whether it’s Wi-Fi routers,” Nakra said, adding that a phone takes center stage in this 5G ecosystem.

“So we expect a lot of consumers also to realise that and bring a connected home or connected office.”

He added that the demand for 5G smartphones is relatively higher in the Rs 25,000-Rs 30,000 and above, and consumers seek more features in handsets in addition to the support for fifth-generation network connectivity.

“When we look at the premium smartphone market, which is typically the Rs 25,000 and above (price band), there the consumer demand for 5G phones is much higher. We believe that that segment will continue to grow this year,” he said.

According to Counterpoint Research, cumulative 5G smartphone shipments are expected to cross the 100-million market in Q2 2023, and exceed 4G smartphone shipments by the end of 2023.

OnePlus’ smartphone shipments in India grew 50% year-over-year in 2022, driven by its Nord CE 2 series. It captured the second spot in the affordable premium segment with a 22% share. The Nord CE 2 Lite was the top-selling 5G model in the sub-Rs 20,000 (~$240) segment in 2022, as per Counterpoint data.

The brand is further expanding its Nord line-up with the launch of the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G and the OnePlus Nord Buds 2 on April 4. The Nord CE 3 Lite 5G has a 6.72-inch 120Hz FHD display and 108MP AI triple camera. It is powered by a 5000mAh battery that supports 67W fast charging. The Nord Buds 2 comes with ANC and 12.4mm drivers along with a “BassWave algorithm”, and other features.

Nakra added that consumers now also want smooth user experience and software performance in smartphones, improved battery life, and better connectivity options. “Some of these things will all come into play as 2023 progresses.”

The shift in consumer demands, according to Nakra, has been brought about by the Covid pandemic as people now also look for multitasking capabilities with all devices.