For the quarter ending September 2017, Idea Cellular reported that it has 38.2 million mobile Internet connections, and the total number of connections has been declining for the company, since the quarter ended December 2016: the quarter in which Reliance Jio launched. What is changing for Idea Cellular, however, is the nature of the connections: there has been a decline in 2G and 3G connections, and a growth in 4G. A switch might be in progress. Of the 38.1 million data connections, 29.61million (69.3%) were Broadband (3G+4G). Last quarter, 26.36 million connections were broadband and were up 11.56% Quarter-on-Quarter.
2. Data connection reductions: The company lost 3.2 million 2G connections during the quarter.
Idea has set the benchmark for reporting mobile Internet connections in India by not including those connections that used up less than 1 MB for the month. The lack of growth in the 2G and 3G connections base might be worrying, unless Idea is transitioning users straight to 4G, but given the overall decline, it is clear that some users are quitting Idea.
2. Data consumption is increasing on Idea cellular networks. Due to competitive market pressure from other telecoms, Idea has been providing cheaper data services to their customers, because of which data consumption has increased, even though the number of connections declined.
The data consumption has almost doubled (99% up) quarter on quarter, which, on this large a base, is unheard of, and almost seems hard to believe.
Total mobile internet, which includes 2G, 3G and 4G, data volume stood at 438.69 billion MB and increasing exponentially from 252.82 billion MB in the preceding quarter and 107.44 billion MB in the same quarter last year. The average usage by subscribers stood at 3805 MB compared to 2204 MB in the preceding quarter and 694 MB in the same quarter last year.
Idea’s broadband segment data volume usage stood at 413.12 billion MB for the quarter, increasing significantly from 228.80 billion MB in the preceding quarter and 84.46 billion MB in the same quarter last year. The average usage by subscribers stood at 4843 MB compared to 3083 MB in the preceding quarter and 922 MB in the same quarter last year.
4. Average Revenue per Connection (referred to as Average Revenue per User by Idea)
– Data ARPU per data connection (2G + 3G + 4G): Rs 105, down from Rs 119 last quarter, and down from Rs 130 for the same quarter last year. Note that this would have been impacted by Reliance Jio.
More on Idea Cellular’s results for the quarter (and all the data) here.