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Airtel adds 5M mobile Internet users in Q3FY18, Data usage up 41% QoQ

Airtel’s mobile Internet user base increased by around 5 million, up 7.6% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) to 70.8 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2017 (Q3 FY18), from 65.8 million during the previous quarter (Q2 FY18). The telco continues to show recovery 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 immediately in Q4 FY17 by adding around 2.4 million mobile Internet customers.

Airtel also added 6.9 million mobile broadband (3G+4G) users during the quarter, taking the total base to 62.1 million from 55.2 million in Q2 FY18. Note that data customers accounted for 24.4% of Airtel’s overall mobile customer base in Q3 FY18, which is up from 4.7% in the previous quarter. The telco’s total customer base stood at 290.11 million for the quarter, up marginally by 2.9% QoQ from 282.05 million, and up 9.1% y-o-y from 265.85 miilion in the same quarter last year.

Data usage and metrics
Mobile data consumption also increased significantly: up by 322 billion MB (a growth of 41% QoQ) to a total of 1105.8 billion MB during the quarter, from 783.8 billion MB in the previous quarter.

Note that in Q2 FY18, there had been a similar jump: an increase of 311.4 billion MB ( up 66% QoQ) to from just 472.4 billion MB in Q1 FY18. Airtel seems to have picked up despite Jio’s cost-effective data packs. However, 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 customer base rose to 7.7% QoQ, and total MB usage increased by 41%.

Average data usage per customer increased significantly to 5349MB per customer, up 31% QoQ from 4087 MB in the previous quarter. However, in Q2 FY18, Average data usage per customer had nearly doubled to 4,087 MB from 2,611 MB in Q2 FY18.

Voice usage and metrics

On the other hand, in the voice segment, minutes on the network increased to 494.5 million minutes, from 437.1 million minutes in the previous quarter. Voice usage per user increased by 11% QoQ to 575 minutes from 518 minutes in Q2 FY18.

Financials
-Mobile Services revenues declined by 12.2 QoQ to Rs 10751 crore from Rs 12245 crore in the previous quarter, and down 22.2% year-on-year from Rs 13813 crore.

-Note that for this quarter Airtel hasn’t provided details about Data and Voice ARPU. It reported ARPU for mobile services at Rs 123, which is a dip of 15% from last quarter 145.

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