India’s mobile market, one of the most affordable in the world, saw average data usage per month jump threefold year-on-year to 9.77GB at end-June.

Data from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) showed a welcome up-tick in ARPU, rising 6.43 per cent year-on-year to INR74.30 ($1.05) at 30 June, with much of the gain (nearly INR3.00) coming in the April to June quarter.

The country’s three major operators have been locked in a fierce price war over the past three years, sparked by the entry of Reliance Jio in September 2016. Declining revenue forced several operators to merge or close operations completely, and hit the bottom-line of Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel.

But ARPU started to recover over the last six months, and operators’ gross revenue rose 5 per cent from a year earlier to INR615 billion.

While ARPU rose and data usage soared, the cost per GB for subscribers fell from INR12.06 in June 2018 to INR7.70 in the last quarter, the TRAI report said.

Over the past year, mobile subs increased by about 19 million to 1.165 billion at end-June, with urban customers accounting for 56.3 per cent of the total. The number of fixed-line subscribers fell by 1.2 million year-on-year to 21.2 million.