ARPU and mobile data growth trends in India

Madan Sabnavis, chief economist and Bhagyashree C Bhati at Care Ratings, have shared a report indicating significant increase in ARPU of mobile operators in India.
India mobile ARPU 2020Average data consumption per subscriber per month has 12.1 GB in Q1FY21. During the first 3 quarters of FY20, the average data usage per subscriber per month surged 50.6 percent to 10.2 GB — backed by lower price for per GB data.

Price for data declined 30.9 percent to Rs.7.7 during April-December 2019. Also, increase in use of online streaming platforms by subscribers is believed to have supported the growth in data usage.

The average data consumption per subscriber per month is believed to have stood at 10.9 GB in the March 2020 quarter. The low-priced service and increased use of online applications has added more subscribers to the broadband base.

India’s broadband subscriber base in May 2020 rose by 17.6 percent year-on-year to 684 million. The broadband subscriber base declined by 1.6 percent in April 2020 on a monthly basis primarily due to lockdown related disruptions.
India mobile data use 2020
The lockdown had an impact on total telephone subscriber base as it declined in the range of 0.2 percent-0.7 percent in each of the months post lockdown (March-May 2020). The total telephone subscriber base fell 0.5 percent (m-o-m) and 1.6 percent (y-o-y) as on May 2020.

The telecom industry’s ARPU is estimated to have touched Rs 80 mark in Q4FY20 after a gap of 9 quarters primarily backed by tariff hikes of up to 40 percent for its prepaid users from the month of December 2019 onwards.

The telecom industry’s ARPU averaged at Rs.76 in the first 3 quarters of FY20. This implies a growth of 10.1 percent compared to the same period a year ago where the average ARPU stood at Rs 69.

The mobile phone ARPU increased in each of the quarters during April-December 2019. Discontinuation of incoming-only customers or minimal ARPU customers on account of minimum recharge plans supported the ARPU growth. Price hikes of up to 40 percent for its prepaid users from December 2019 onwards also supported the price rise.