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RCOM’s 3G connections surpass 2G Internet connections in Q2-FY15

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Reliance Communications (RCOM) has reported 29.7 million mobile Internet connections for the quarter ended September 30, 2014 (Q2-FY15), up 3.8% from 28.6 million mobile Internet connections in the previous quarter.

Note that RCOM had started culling incidental mobile Internet users from the previous quarter, due to which its mobile Internet base had dropped to 28.6 million in Q1-FY15 from 37.4 million in Q4-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.

3G connections surpasses 2G Internet connections

What’s particularly interesting is RCOM’s 3G connection base seems to have surpassed its 2G mobile Internet connection base during the quarter.

RCOM reported a total 3G connection base of 15.1 million for quarter, up from 13 million in the previous quarter. The 2G connection base however declined to 14.6 million for the quarter, from 15.6 million in the previous quarter. It’s quite possible that RCOM’s 2G customers transitioned to become 3G customers during the quarter.

It’s also worth noting that Airtel’s 3G connection base crossed RCOM’s 3G connection base with 15.5 million 3G connections during the quarter, and now seems to have the largest 3G connection base in the industry. However, it will be interesting to see whether Airtel is able to maintain this position in the following quarters, considering the significant growth Vodafone is witnessing in its 3G connection base.

Other Data related numbers

– Data usage grew to 752 MB per connection for the quarter, up 12.9% from 666 MB in the previous quarter. RCOM claims to have the highest data usage per connection in the industry.
– Data traffic on its network has increased to 65.8 billion MB, up 19% from 55.3 billion MB in the previous quarter and up 75% year-on-year (YoY). This was due to increase in data connections and higher data usage per customer.

New low cost CDMA+GSM handsets: RCOM mentions that it partnered Lava Mobiles and Haier to launch four new Android handsets in the price range of Rs 6,000- Rs 12,000. These handsets are dual-sim in nature with support for a universal primary slot that can provide high speed data on both CDMA and GSM technologies.

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