(more charts in our Mobile Internet in India report for July-2015)
Reliance Communications (RCOM) has reported 35.4 million mobile Internet connections for the quarter ended June 20th 2015 (Q1-FY16), up 5% from 33.7 million mobile Internet connections in the previous quarter, and 23.8% from the same quarter last year.
Note that RCOM had started culling incidental mobile Internet users from the previous quarter, due to which its mobile Internet base had dropped to 26.7 million in Q4-FY14 from 36.3 million in Q3-FY14. Incidental data users are users who have consumed less than 1 MB/month. This followed a similar move from Idea Cellular in Q3-FY14 and Airtel in Q1-FY15. Idea Cellular now only includes those users who consume more than 10 MB/month.
3G connections surpass 2G Internet connections
RCOM’s 3G connection base has surpassed its 2G mobile Internet connection base, and it is probably the only telecom operator for which this has happened. RCOM reported a total 3G connection base of 17.9 million for the quarter, up from 17.4 million in the previous quarter. The 2G connection base also increased 17.5 million, from 16.3 million in the previous quarter. RCOM is now adding more 2G users than before, after a few slow quarters.
It’s also worth noting that Airtel’s 3G connection base for Q1-Fy16 was higher than that of RCOM’s 3G connection base with 21.36 million 3G connections at the end of the quarter. Airtel has the largest 3G connection base in the industry.
Mobile Internet data
– 2G mobile Internet connection were at 17.5 million for the quarter, up from 17.4 million in the previous quarter.
– Around 51% of RCOM’s total data customers are on 3G.
– Data usage per connection increased to 895 MB per data customer, from 666 MB per data customer a year ago, up 34.4%.
– Data traffic on RCOMs network has increased to 92.793 billion MB, up from 55.28 billion MB a year ago, up 67.9%. This was due to increase in data subscribers and higher data usage per customer.
– Non-voice revenues accounted for Rs 1211 crore for RCOM
– Average revenue per user (ARPU) declined to Rs 140 for the quarter, from Rs 147 in the previous quarter. There appears to be some correction, given that the last quarter had seen a significant increase in ARPU from Rs 128.
– Revenue per minute for the quarter increased to Rs 0.445 from Rs 0.4444 in the previous quarter.
1. RCom launched the Wi-Pod Mini,a portable Wi-Fi device that can be used to create a hotspot to connect multiple devices like smartphones, laptops etc to the internet anytime, anywhere. The device can connect upto 6 users and offers consistent speeds upto 14.7 Mbps.
2. RCOM, which provides Facebook’s Net Neutrality violating platform Internet.org in India, reported 800,000 users in May, of which only 20% were new Internet users. The service, dubbed FreeNet by Reliance Communications (despite the fact that it only includes Facebook’s collection of sites, and not the Internet), is available in seven circles (Mumbai, Maharashtra & Goa, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala).
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Disclosure: I’m a volunteer with the Savetheinternet.in coalition fighting for Net Neutrality in India. MediaNama has participated in government consultations in favor of Net Neutrality.