Wireless data subscriber base soars to 578.20 m

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on August 21, 2019 Published on August 21, 2019

File Photo   -  The Hindu

ARPU rose to ₹90.61 in 2018 from ₹79.98 in 2017, TRAI data show


The total number of wireless data subscribers in the country rose to 578.20 million as of end of 2018. This is a 36.36 per cent rise from 424.02 million posted in 2017; the number of data users in 2014 was at 281.58 million.

The country collected a total of ₹54,671.44 crore (excluding rental revenue) in 2018 from wireless data usage compared with ₹38,882 crore in 2017, according to a study by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).


Wireless data usage

The average wireless data usage per user rose to 7.69 GB during the reporting year, compared with 4.13 GB in 2017. The average cost of wireless data to user fell to ₹11.78 per GB in 2018, as against ₹19.35 recorded a year ago.

“With the entry of a new Telecom Service Provider (TSP) using long term evolution (LTE)/4G technology and the consequent gradual adaptation of this technology by the leading incumbents, data usage has grown sharply and it is expected to grow further in future also,” it said, adding that wireless data usage had posted “unprecedented growth” in the last four years.

The average cost for wireless data was at ₹226 per GB in 2015, which was before the introduction of 4G (LTE) technology, the study, ‘Wireless Data Service in India - An analytical Report’, said.

“The mobile data usage per subscriber in India is among the highest in the world and the price of data among the lowest,” TRAI Chairperson RS Sharma said.

“After the entry of a new telecom player in wireless telecom service with 4G technology in 2016, average cost to subscriber for wireless data has steeply declined in 2017 and 2018, due to intense tariff competition,” it said.

4G data usage

The share of 4G data usage stood at 86.85 per cent in 2018, with the technology (4G) becoming the market leader, even though it was introduced in India in 2016. The total wireless data usage rose to 46,404 million GB during the year under review, posting an annual growth of 131 per cent from 20,092 million GB in 2017.

The average revenue per user (ARPU) — a metric to gauge the financial health of a telecom company — rose to ₹90.61 in 2018 from ₹79.98 posted a year ago. In 2014, it was at ₹71.25.

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Published on August 21, 2019
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