Airtel’s mobile Internet user base increased by around 2.45 million (4.5%) quarter on quarter to 57.36 million from 54.91 million during the quarter ended March 31st, 2017 (Q4 FY17). The telco seems to be slowly recovering from the intense competition after losing around 7 million users in the previous quarter.
Airtel also added 5.02 million mobile broadband (3G+4G) users during the quarter, taking the total base to 42.71 million from 37.69 million in Q3FY17. Note that data customers accounted for 21% of Airtel’s overall mobile customer base in Q4 FY17, which dropped from a 23.2% share that mobile customers held in Q4 FY16. The telco’s total customer base stood at 273.64 million during the current quarter, up marginally by 2.9% QoQ.
Mobile data consumption also increased significantly: up by 53.29 billion MBs (around 31% QoQ growth) to a total of 225.1 billion MB during the quarter, from 171.81 billion MB in the previous quarter. Airtel seems to have picked up some traction in data usage after Jio launched paid packs.The telco’s mobile consumption rates had dropped drastically in the previous quarter after Jio’s launch.
Other mobile usage metrics
-Although Airtel was able to add new customers and increase data usage on its network, its Data ARPU (average revenue per user) declined 7% to Rs 162 from Rs 175 in the preceding quarter. The last time that Airtel’s Data ARPU dipped to such low levels was in December 2014.
–Average data usage per customer increased significantly to 1,331 MB per customer, up 36.9% from 972 MB last quarter.
–Data realisation per MB declined to 12.2 paisa down 32.1% from 17.97 paisa last quarter.
–Mobile Services revenues declined by 5.9% to Rs 12.76 crore from Rs 13.56 crore the previous quarter, and 11.4% year on year.
-During the quarter, Airtel’s Mobile Internet segment accounted for 21.5% of Mobile India revenues, as compared to 23.3% in the corresponding quarter last year.
Voice usage and metrics
On the voice segment, minutes on the network increased to 381.23 million minutes, from 330.21 million minutes in the previous quarter. Voice usage per user also increased to 471 minutes from 419 minutes. However, Airtel appears to have lower voice rates: Voice Revenue Per Minute declined to 24.28 paise, down from 29.42 paise per minute. Voice revenue per minute also declined by 27% YoY from 33.25 paise per minute in Q4 FY16. Voice ARPU also (an irrelevant figure in a multi-SIM environment), declined to Rs 114 from Rs 123.