CLSA reported that India’s mobile data usage increased by 34% year-on-year to 100 mTBs (million TBs). This upturn was mostly driven by 4G traffic, that grew 39% year-on-year.
Painting a Pretty Picture with Data Usage
The average monthly 4G data usage reached 12.3GB, up by 11% year-on-year, according to data sourced from TRAI. Notably, it is almost twice as much as 3G data usage and 11 times more than 2G usage. This implies that a jump up the generations tends to increase data usage.
During the lockdowns, there were a net 95 million 4G data users added. This surge was fueled by about 100 million JioPhones.
CLSA also listed out the average data usage for various telcos. The average data usage of 4G subscribers of Bharti Airtel is at 16.7GB/month. This figure is about 30% more than that of Reliance Jio. However, the Mukesh Ambani-led telco still dominates the data market. The telco has 53% subscriber share and 55% data traffic share.
As of December 2020, 91% of all data users were on 4G, as per CLSA. Furthermore, the firm forecasts sector 4G data subscribers to reach 898m by FY23. As per TRAI, data users increased to 770 million in 2020 while 4G penetration increased to 61%, mainly in C-circles that are 63% ahead of A- and B-circle markets. In contrast, metros led with 122% 4G penetration, followed by C-circle at 63%. At the same time, 4G penetration in A- and B-circles is lower at 60% and 51%, respectively.