Reliance Communications (RCOM) has reported 31.4 million mobile Internet connections for the quarter ended December 30, 2014 (Q3-FY15), up 5.7% from 29.7 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 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.
3G connections surpasses 2G Internet connections
What’s particularly interesting is RCOM’s 3G connection base has surpassed its 2G mobile Internet connection base, and this is probably the only telecom operator for which this has happened.. RCOM reported a total 3G connection base of 16.7 million for quarter, up from 15.1 million in the previous quarter. The 2G connection base also increased marginally to 14.7 million, from 14.6 million in the previous quarter.
It’s also worth noting that Airtel’s 3G connection base crossed RCOM’s 3G connection base with 16.94 million 3G connections during the quarter, and now seems to have the largest 3G connection base in the industry.
Next Quarter: Internet.org watch
Let’s see how RCOM’s net-neutrality violating partnership with Facebook’s Internet.org impacts its user base, and whether people do sign up for the Internet just to access Facebook and a few select Internet sites for free.
Mobile Internet data
– 2G mobile Internet connections was at 14.7 million for the quarter, up from 14.6 million in the previous quarter.
– 15.5% of RCOM’s total connections are on 3G, and around 53% of RCOM’s total data customers are on 3G.
– Data usage per connection increased to 834 MB per data customer, from 752 MB.
– Data traffic on its network has increased to 76.4 billion MB, up from 65.7 billion MB in the previous quarter, and 41.7 billion MB in the same quarter last year. This was due to increase in data subscribers and higher data usage per customer.
– Non-voice accounts for 24.8% of RCOM’s wireless telecom revenues for the quarter, up from 24.3% in the previous quarter.