Vodafone India added 3.3 million 3G Internet connections for the quarter ended September 30, 2014, same as previous quarter, which is incidentally the highest ever 3G adoption witnessed by the telco.
Vodafone now has a total base of 13.6 million 3G connections for the quarter, as compared to 10.3 million 3G connections in the previous quarter and 4.5 million 3G connections in the same quarter last year.
In comparison, Vodafone India’s competitor Airtel had added 2.96 million 3G connections during the quarter for a total base of 15.5 million 3G connections, while Idea Cellular had added 2.7 million 3G connections for a total base of 13.3 million 3G connections.
3G ICR agreement driving the growth? Note that these three telcos have an intra-circle 3G roaming agreement, enabling them to offer 3G services in circles where they do not have 3G spectrum. As part of the agreement, Vodafone had resumed 3G services in 11 circles. It seems like this agreement has contributed significantly to the growth of Vodafone’s 3G subscription base for the quarter.
This is evident from the fact that Vodafone’s total mobile Internet connection base remained nearly flat at 57.2 million for the quarter, from 57 million mobile Internet connections in the previous quarter. Probably Vodafone’s 2G customers in these regions transitioned to become 3G customers during the quarter.
Incidental mobile internet users? What’s also worth noting is that Vodafone’s total mobile Internet connection base seems to include incidental mobile Internet users (users who have consumed less than 1 MB/month), while its competitors Idea Cellular, Airtel and Reliance Communications have all started culling incidental mobile Internet users from its total base from earlier this year. Maybe it’s time Vodafone India also started doing it.
Other Data highlights
– 0.2 million data connections added during the quarter, down significantly from 5 million in the previous quarter and from 1.3 million data additions in the same quarter last year.
– 3.3 million 3G connections added during the quarter, same as 3.3 million additions in the previous quarter and 0.8 million additions in the same quarter last year.
– Total 2G data connection base is at 43.6 million for the quarter, down from 47 million connections in the previous quarter but up from 38 million 2G connections in the same quarter last year.
– The average data usage grew to 275 MB for the quarter, from 238 MB in the previous quarter and 222MB in same quarter last year.
– Total data usage increased by 18.25% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) to 44.58 billion MBs for the quarter, from 37.7 billion MBs in the previous quarter.
– 33.9 million smartphone users representing 19.5% of the total connection base for the quarter.
– 3G browsing revenues grew by 154% year-on-year, however no specific numbers were disclosed.
Similar to the previous quarter, Vodafone hasn’t provided data revenues for India for the quarter or the contribution of data revenues to Vodafone India’s service revenues for the quarter.
Project Spring: Vodafone India has added 3,145 3G sites to increase its 3G coverage in targeted urban areas to 89% as part of its Project Spring initiative. It has added 12,400 3G sites since last September and hopes to increase the 3G coverage to 95% by 2016.
The company also claims that 67% of its data sessions were above 400kbps for the quarter, as compared to 63% in the previous quarter and 62% in the quarter before. More on Project Spring initiative here.