India’s Jio tops data traffic consumption charts

India’s Jio tops data traffic consumption charts

India’s leading operator Reliance Jio is now the world's largest mobile operator in terms of data traffic consumption, overtaking China Mobile.

Tefficient, a consulting and research company which focuses on helping telecom operators with data monetisation, customer loyalty, FMC, service bundling, fibre and 5G strategies, says total traffic on the Jio network during the January-March quarter reached 40.9 Exabytes. By contrast China Mobile hit 38 Exabytes.

As you might also expect, Jio now has the second largest 5G subscriber base globally – at 108 million.

But the fact that more than 28% of its total wireless data traffic is now being consumed by 5G users may not be ideal for Jio's revenue. As India’s Economic Times news service points out, Jio has not yet monetised 5G, possibly due to its promotional offer of unlimited 5G plans. This, and the addition of low-value JioBharat phone users, is keeping average revenue per user (ARPU) relatively low. The JioBharat phone platform combines affordable 4G feature phones with low-cost data plans.

That said, user additions are looking good. At the end of the fiscal year 2024, Jio has grown its total subscriber base from 449 million to 482 million and will further benefit as and when long-anticipated tariff hikes take place. Tariff hikes of 20-25% are thought to be likely soon after the upcoming general elections, which end in early June.

It’s not just about mobile. Jio’s fixed wireless home broadband offering AirFiber is also doing well, while a number of dedicated bundled offerings for small businesses are driving growth in the enterprise segment.

Rival Bharti Airtel is apparently witnessing lower data usage and subscriber additions but is consistently recording an upward trend in its revenue, though its position as the largest wired broadband operator in India is undoubtedly helping.

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