As users dip, data drives growth in India’s telecom sector

Date posted: Thursday 11 October 2018

After grappling with falling revenues over the last two years following the entry of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd in September 2016, India’s telecom sector now faces a shrinking mobile user base, signalling the end of the era of runaway growth during which the market grew from 873.36 million to 1.14 billion in number terms over the last five years. It also means operators need to focus on driving more data usage per SIM instead of flooding the market with SIM cards. The data shows the number of wireless connections has shrunk to around 1,146 million in April-June 2018 from nearly 1,187 million in the same quarter last year. With consolidation among operators, fewer users hold multiple SIMs. Data usage is also on the rise. Airtel is looking to boost its content offering through tie-ups with video platforms Netflix, Amazon Prime and ZEE5, while Reliance Jio is looking at producing content in-house. In April-June, Reliance Jio reported 10.6 GB of average data consumption per user per month while for Bharti Airtel this was 7.8 GB. The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) believes that telecom firms now need to evolve from just being companies selling SIM cards to offering more enterprise solutions.

(Live Mint)