Bharti Airtel, India’s 3rd largest mobile operator, has crossed the mark of 100 million Mobile Internet connections.
At the end of the quarter ending December 2018, the company reported 107.5 million Mobile Internet connections, up 9.85 million (around 10% from 97.67 million). This is the highest number of mobile Internet connections Airtel has ever had, but it is still substantially lower than those of Reliance Jio.
Data volume grew for Airtel during the quarter, along with the increase in connections. Airtel users consumed 3,216.9 billion MBs of data during the quarter, up 21% quarter on quarter from 2,660.3 billion MBs last quarter. That’s a growth of 556.6 billion MBs.
A few other points to note:
1. Only about 38% of Airtel’s connection base uses the Internet. At December 2017 end, this was 24%. 4G is now around 27.1% of the total Airtel Mobile connections, and 72% of total Mobile Internet connections. In the previous quarter, 4G connections were 19.8% of total connections and 67% of Mobile Internet connections.
2. The constitution of this base has changed: The company has added 11.3 million mobile 4G connections. In the previous quarter, it added 7.5 million 4G connections.
The 4G base has increased to 72% of Airtel’s data connections, compared to 51% a year ago.
3. Airtel’s 4G connection base increased by 11.3 million and its 2G+3G connection base declined by 1.5 million quarter on quarter. The number of connections not using the Internet decreased by 58.4 million.
4. 2G+3G Mobile Internet connections account for 10.7% of the total connections; it was 9.6% at the end of the last quarter. 2G+3G now accounts for 28% of the total Mobile Internet connections for Airtel, down from around 33% last quarter.
5. For Airtel, data usage is now 10,528 MB per customer in December 2018, up 14% from 9,221 MB as compared to the previous quarter.