Data subscribers likely to grow 25% annually: Report

V&D Bureau
New Update

The number of data subscribers is likely to touch 519 mn by 2018, rising on an average 25 per cent every year, according to a report by Morgan Stanley.


The subscribers’ numbers will increase on the back of rising smartphone penetration and cheaper handsets, it said.

In addition, internet users will grow to 330 mn in 2016 with faster bandwidth and higher Internet content.

"By FY2018, we expect data subscribers to grow at a 25 per cent CAGR (compound average growth rate), from 210 mn to 519 mn and see a 35 per cent CAGR in data usage to750 MB per subscriber, near the Asian average," the report said.


Earlier, telecom regulator TRAI’s data said, total Internet subscribers in the country at the end of September 2013 stood at 210 mn, with 188 mn accessing it on mobile device, 7 mn narrowband subscribers and 15 mn broadband subscribers.

"Data is the next growth leg. We expect data contribution to more than double to 23 per cent of overall revenues (as against 10 per cent currently) in the next two years," the report said.

Operators will come out with lower average revenue per mega byte (ARMB) for higher MB pack which will basically drive the growth.


A 3G, 2GB pack in January 2013 cost Rs 750 or 38 paisa ARMB. Today a 2GB pack osts Rs 450 or 23-paisa ARMB," the report said.

Morgan Stanley also said that the rates charged by Indian operators are lowest in the world as compared to other Asian countries.

"The risk of data cannibalising voice is very low. Our case study on over the top (OTT) applications like WhatsApp and Skype indicates exponential rise in data volumes despite compression," it added.