(Charts by Sandeep Verma)

Bharti Airtel, India’s largest mobile operator, still doesn’t have 100 million Mobile Internet connections.

At the end of the quarter ending June 2018, the company reported 62.6 million Mobile Internet connections, up 5.2 million (around 9% from 57.4 million). All this has done, is that it has brought Airtel on par with the 62.7 millions reported by the end of September 2016 (Q2-FY17).

Data volume grew for Airtel during the quarter, along with the also increase in connections. Airtel users consumed 472.4 billion MBs of data during the quarter, up 110% quarter on quarter from 225.1 billion MBs last quarter. That’s a growth of 247.3 billion MBs (by around 52%), in a market where data consumption has been growing rapidly: this can only mean one thing: usage shifted elsewhere, and that is probably Jio.

A few other points to note:

1. Now only about 22% of Airtel’s connection base uses the Internet. At September 2016 end, this was 24.1%. Broadband is now around 17% of total Airtel Mobile connections, and 78% of total Mobile Internet connections. In the previous quarter, Broadband connections were 16% of total connections, and 74% of Mobile Internet connections.

2. The constitution of this base has changed: The company has added 7.6 million mobile broadband (3G+4G) connections since September 2016 end, and lost 7.7 million 2G connections.

The broadband base has increased to 78% of Airtel’s data connections, compared to 66% in Q2-FY17.

3. Airtel’s broadband connection base increased by 6.2 million and its 2G connection base declined by 1 million quarter on quarter. The number of connections not using the Internet increased by 1.8 million.

2G Mobile Internet connections account for 4.9% of total Internet connections; it was 5.4% at the end of the last quarter. 2G now accounts for 22% of total Mobile Internet connections for Airtel, down from around 26% last quarter.