Bharti Airtel, India’s 2nd largest mobile operator, has hit the 120 million Mobile Internet connection mark, by the quarter ended June 2019. This is up 4.9 million (around 4% from 115.2 million). This is the highest number of mobile Internet connections Airtel has ever had and substantially higher than those of Vodafone Idea.
Data volume grew for Airtel during the quarter, along with the increase in connections. Airtel users consumed 4,191.7 billion MBs of data during the quarter, up 13% quarter on quarter from 3,705 billion MBs last quarter. That’s a growth of 486.7 billion MBs.
A few other points to note:
1. Only about 43% of Airtel’s connection base uses the Internet. At June 2018 end, this was 28%, so this is a significant improvement. 4G is now around 34% of the total Airtel Mobile connections, and 79% of total Mobile Internet connections. In the previous quarter, 4G connections were 31% of total connections and 75% of Mobile Internet connections.
2. The constitution of this base has changed: The company has added 8.4 million mobile 4G connections. In the previous quarter, it added 9.7 million 4G connections.
The 4G base has increased to 79% of Airtel’s data connections, compared to 61.5% a year ago.
3. Airtel’s 4G connection base increased by 8.4 million and its 2G+3G connection base declined by 3.5 million quarter on quarter. The number of connections not using the Internet decreased by 6.4 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 21% of the total Mobile Internet connections for Airtel, down from around 25% last quarter.
5. For Airtel, data usage is now 11,930 MB per data customer per month for the quarter ended in June 2019, up 8% from 11,048 MB as compared to the previous quarter.