Bharti Airtel says its 3G user base rose 83 percent to 6.8 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2014 from 3.7 million in the same period last fiscal.
The quarter-on-quarter growth in 3G user base was 6 percent.
In fact, Airtel has 8.7 million active 3G customers of which 6.8 million are active 3G data customers as on June 30, 2013.
Bharti Airtel’s total GSM user base in India stands at 191 million as on June 30, 2013.
The number of 3G sites increased by 1,031 sites to 25,604 in June 2013 compared with 24,573 in March 2013.
To build on the coverage advantage and facilitate faster data growth, the telecom operator invested on network roll out with 958 2G sites and 1,031 3G sites during the quarter.
Sunil Mittal, chairman, Bharti Airtel, said the company is seeing robust data growth.
Bharti has 46 million data — both 2G and 3G — users, up 20 percent from June 2012.
Blended data realization rate stood at 31.0 paisa per MB for the quarter ended June 30, 2013.
Data ARPU rose 81 percent to Rs 63 from Rs 55.
Driven by 3G, Airtel’s data usage rose 81 percent to 203 MB per user from 187 MB.
For comparison, Airtel voice ARPU increased by Rs 11 to Rs 166 in June 2013.
The blended ARPU for the quarter moved up by Rs 16 to Rs 200. Airtel noted that significant portion of the incremental ARPU has come through the improvement in voice ARPU.
Airtel says data — 2G and 3G — lead the mobile segment growth, through deeper penetration and consumption.
The launch of Airtel’s One Rupee Video Store is the first step in making the content affordable to customers.
At the end of Q1 2014, 24.4 percent of the company’s customers use data services, up from 20.6 percent in the corresponding quarter last year.
Data consumption has grown 117 percent compared to the corresponding quarter last year and has reached 27.3 billion MBs in the June quarter.
Data now contributes around 7.4 percent of the total mobile revenues against 6.5 percent in Q4 2013 and 4.3 percent in the corresponding quarter last year, depicting the shift from voice to data.
During the quarter, the data growth was impacted by the Supreme Court decision restraining operators from acquiring new customers in the 3G ICR (intra circle roaming) circles.