Airtel’s mobile Internet user base increased by around 3.3 million, up 5.3% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) to 65.8 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2017 (Q2 FY18), from 62.5 million during the previous quarter (Q1 FY18). The telco seems to be slowly recovering from the intense competition, after losing around 7.7 million mobile Internet users in Q3 FY17, which was the quarter after Reliance Jio’s launch. The company however recovered slightly in Q4 FY17 by adding around 2.4 million mobile Internet customers.
Airtel also added 6.3 million mobile broadband (3G+4G) users during the quarter, taking the total base to 55.2 million from 48.9 million in Q1 FY18. Note that data customers accounted for 23.3% of Airtel’s overall mobile customer base in Q2 FY18, which is up from 22.3% in the previous quarter. The telco’s total customer base stood at 282.05 million for the quarter, up marginally by 0.5% QoQ from 280.65 million.
Data usage and metrics
Mobile data consumption also increased significantly: up by 311.4 billion MB (a growth of 65.9% QoQ) to a total of 783.8 billion MB during the quarter, from 472.4 billion MB in the previous quarter. Note that in Q1 FY18, there had been a similar jump: an increase of 247.29 billion MB ( up 109.8% QoQ) to 472.3 billion MB during the quarter, from just 225.1 billion MB in Q4 FY17. Airtel seems to have picked up some traction in data usage after Jio launched its paid packs. The telco’s mobile consumption rates had dropped drastically in the quarter after Jio’s launch.
Although Airtel was able to add new customers and increase data usage on its network, its Data ARPU (average revenue per user) declined 6.3% QoQ to Rs 145 from Rs 154 in the preceding quarter. The last time that Airtel’s Data ARPU dipped to such low levels was in December 2014. In the same quarter last year, Data ARPU was at Rs 188.
However, Average data usage per customer increased significantly to 4,087 MB per customer, up 56.5% QoQ from 2,611 MB in the previous quarter. In fact, in Q1 FY18, Average data usage per customer had nearly doubled to 2,611 MB from 1,331 MB in Q4 FY17.
Voice usage and metrics
On the other hand, in the voice segment, minutes on the network increased to 437.1 million minutes, from 421.9 million minutes in the previous quarter. Voice usage per user increased marginally by 2.2% QoQ to 518 minutes from 507 minutes in Q1 FY18.
Note that for this quarter Airtel hasn’t provided details about Voice Revenue Per Minute and Voice ARPU, which in any case had become irrelevant figures in a multi-SIM environment.
Mobile Services revenues declined marginally by 5% QoQ to Rs 12.21 crore from Rs 12.86 crore in the previous quarter, and down 15.8% year-on-year from Rs 14.5 crore.