Mobile data usage in India has increased threefold since last year, with the average monthly usage hitting 9.77GB at the end of June this year.
Data from regulator TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) showed that the growth in data has resulted in a much-needed increase in ARPU, which jumped 6.43% year-on-year to hit INR74.30 ($1.05) at the end of June.
Since Reliance Jio entered the market in 2016, an ongoing price war has resulted in India having one of the most affordable mobile markets in the world – to the detriment of operator revenue. The number of major players has dropped from eight to three, while heavyweights Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have seen their earnings drop off substantially.
However, the past six months have seen a turnaround in ARPU, with gross revenue up year-on-year to INR615 billion – an increase of 5%. This has been driven by increased data usage that has itself likely been caused by falling cost per GB for subscribers – INR7.70 in the last quarter compared to INR12.06 in June 2018.