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April 24, 2024

Jio Surpasses China Mobile as World’s Top Data Traffic Operator: A Look at Its Record-breaking Performance

Jio Overtakes China Mobile to Lead Global Data Traffic: A Deep Dive into Its Phenomenal Growth

In a significant milestone for the telecom industry, Reliance Jio has emerged as the world’s largest mobile operator in data traffic consumption, outpacing even the giant China Mobile. According to Tefficient, a global analytics firm, Jio’s total traffic soared to 40.9 exabytes during the January-March quarter, exceeding China Mobile’s 38 exabytes.

Jio’s dominance extends beyond sheer data volume. With 108 million users, it boasts the second-largest 5G subscriber base globally. Remarkably, over 28 percent of its wireless data traffic is now attributed to 5G users, indicating a rapid adoption of next-generation connectivity.

This remarkable performance is attributed to the addition of JioBharat phone users and the popularity of its unlimited 5G promotional plans, which have impacted its average revenue per user (ARPU). Analysts anticipate that Jio’s swift user additions and market share gains will translate into increased revenue, especially with potential tariff hikes post-general elections.

Jio’s fixed wireless home broadband offering, AirFiber, has seen substantial demand across 5,900 towns, leading to record-high quarterly home connections. The average daily data usage for AirFiber subscribers stands at an impressive 13 gigabytes, surpassing JioFiber subscribers by 30 percent.

Despite these achievements, Jio’s ARPU has remained stagnant at Rs 182, as it has yet to fully monetize 5G. Analysts attribute this to the addition of low-value JioBharat phone users and promotional unlimited 5G plans.

JP Morgan, in an analyst update, noted, “Jio’s impressive 5G availability has driven successful 5G migration at promotional unmetered prices that is severely curtailin g 4G data top ups and encouraging opportunistic price shopping to 1.5GB a day plans among price-sensitive consumers.” Currently, nearly 30 percent of Jio’s network usage is free due to its unmetered 5G plans.

By the end of FY24, Jio’s total subscriber base had surged from 449 million to 482 million, with an average monthly data consumption of 28.7 GB per user. However, its ARPU remains unchanged at Rs 182.

In comparison, Bharti Airtel, Jio’s closest rival, has witnessed lower data usage per user (22.5GB at the end of FYQ3) but is experiencing an upward trend in revenue. Airtel’s user base grew from 339 million to an estimated 350 million in FY24, with ARPU rising from Rs 200 to an estimated Rs 211.

Analysts emphasize the importance of increasing headline tariffs for telecom companies to effectively monetize 5G services and sustain growth in the long run. As the telecom industry continues to evolve, Jio’s unprecedented rise marks a significant shift in global mobile data consumption dynamics.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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