Reliance Communications (RCOM) has reported a total 37.4 million data connections for the quarter ended March 31, 2014, registering a minor 3.3% growth from 36.2 million data connections in the previous quarter. Year on year, it reported a 27.2% growth from 29.4 million data customers in the same quarter last year. It added only 1.2 million data connections for the quarter as compared to 2.2 million data additions in the previous quarter. However, given that RCOM's overall connection base declined by 6.4 million during the quarter, it might be possible that the telco managed to convert non-data connections into data connections. RCOM defines a data connection as any connection with data usage of more than zero Kb in the quarter, hence this includes incidental users as well. Last week, RCOM's competitor Idea Cellular had set the benchmark for reporting mobile Internet connections in India by not including those connections that used up less than 1 MB for the month, which lead to a decline of 10.6 million 2G connections for the telco. In our opinion, this should become the norm. 3G connections: Of the 37.4 million data connections, 12.9 million are 3G connections, registering a 16.22% growth quarter-on-quarter (QoQ). This is despite a 27% increase in 3G data rates in December 2013. The company claims to have largest 3G connection base in the industry, however we’re not sure whether RCOM classifies its EVDO data card users as 3G users or merely “data users”. Strangely, RCOM also notes that a 3G connection is any connection “having made at least one…
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