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India’s Data Consumption Soars in 2023: TRAI Report Highlights

Among the total Internet subscription base in India, 95.93% is made up of mobile wireless connections, 0.11% is made up of fixed wireless users and 3.97% is made up of wired Internet connections.

The total data consumption in India has seen a major increase going from 53,42,792 GB between January-March 2023 to 69,50,508 GB between April and June 2023, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) latest performance indicator report. Of the total Internet subscription base in India, 95.93% is made up of mobile wireless connections, 0.11% is made up of fixed wireless users and 3.97% is made up of wired Internet connections. Average wireless data consumption in the country has seen an increase from the previous quarter, going from 17.36 GB in the previous quarter to 18.39 GB in the current quarter.

Important observations from the quarterly data:

Rise in wireless data usage:

Wireless data usage went up from 41,790 PB (Petabyte) in the previous quarter to 44,967 PB this quarter. While the data consumption has increased average revenue realization has declined going from Rs.9.94 in the previous quarter to Rs.9.44 in the current quarter.

The total data consumed and average revenue realization appear to be inversely proportional to each other, as the data revenue per GB drops, the cumulative data usage increases significantly.

Out of total data wireless usage, 2G data usage was 46 PB, 3G data usage was 353 PB, 4G data usage was 42505 and 5G data usage was 2,063 PB during the quarter. It is interesting to note here that while 5G contributes 4.59% to the total wireless data usage in India, according to 5G service providers, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio, have said in their earnings that they have not yet monetized their 5G services, implying means that internet users might not enjoy free access to 5G for too long.

Internet connection trends:

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As of April-June 2023, the total internet connections in India are 895.83 million, a 1.65% increase from the previous quarter (881.25 million). On a year-on-year basis, there has been a 7.05% increase in internet connections in the country. Of the total internet connections in the country, 861.47 million are broadband subscribers, and 34.36 million are narrowband subscribers. While broadband connections have risen by 1.76% this quarter, narrowband connections have declined by 0.94%.

The top five regions with the highest internet connections (both wired and wireless) are— Maharashtra (75.93 million), U.P.East (71.53 million), Bihar (67.59 million), Andhra Pradesh (67.14 million) and Madhya Pradesh (61.60 million).

A rise in average revenue per user for wireless services: 

Just like the previous quarter has increased this quarter as well, the average revenue per user (ARPU) of wireless services going from Rs. 142.32 to Rs. 145.64, indicating a 2.33% increase. On a year-on-year basis, monthly ARPU for wireless services has increased by 9.05% as of this quarter. Data usage makes up 74.28% of this ARPU, contributing Rs.130.16 (excluding service tax) to it.

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