Bharti Airtel, India’s 2nd largest mobile operator, has hit the 148.6 million Mobile Internet connection mark, by the quarter ended March 2020. This is up 10.14 million (around 7% from 138.44 million). This is the highest number of mobile Internet connections Airtel has ever had and higher than those of Vodafone Idea.
Data volume grew for Airtel during the quarter, along with the increase in connections. Airtel users consumed 6,452.8 billion MBs of data during the quarter, up 16% quarter on quarter from 5,547.2 billion MBs last quarter. That’s a growth of 905.6 billion MBs.
A few other points to note:
1. About 52% of Airtel’s connection base uses the Internet. In March 2018, this was 28%, so this is a significant improvement. 4G is now around 48% of the total Airtel Mobile connections, and 92% of total Mobile Internet connections. In the previous quarter, 4G connections were 44% of total connections and 89% of Mobile Internet connections.
2. The constitution of this base has changed: The company has added 12.5 million mobile 4G connections. In the previous quarter, it added 20.7 million 4G connections.
The 4G base has increased to 92% of Airtel’s data connections, compared to 75% a year ago.
3. Airtel’s 4G connection base increased by 12.5 million and its 2G+3G connection base declined by 2.4 million quarter on quarter. The number of connections not using the Internet decreased by 9.5 million.
4. 2G+3G Mobile Internet connections account for 4.3% of the total connections; it was 5.2% at the end of the last quarter. 2G+3G now accounts for 8% of the total Mobile Internet connections for Airtel, down from around 11% last quarter.
5. For Airtel, data usage is now 14,972 MB per data customer per month for the quarter ended in March 2020, up 7% from 13,928 MB in the previous quarter.