Fixed Broadband: Reliance Jio overtakes Bharti Airtel to win second spot

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October 24, 2021 5:00 AM

As on August, BSNL has 21.5% market share in fixed broadband followed by Reliance Jio at 14.5% and Bharti Airtel at 14.45%.

In fact, Jio has been consistently adding around 2 lakh fixed broadband connections every month in the past and in August, the number has risen to 2.4 lakh.In fact, Jio has been consistently adding around 2 lakh fixed broadband connections every month in the past and in August, the number has risen to 2.4 lakh.

Reliance Jio has overtaken Bharti Airtel to become the second-largest fixed broadband provider in the country on the back of healthy additions over the last many months.

In fact, Jio has been consistently adding around 2 lakh fixed broadband connections every month in the past and in August, the number has risen to 2.4 lakh. State-owned BSNL is the largest fixed line broadband player in terms of subscribers. Although Bharti Airtel has also been adding fixed broadband subscribers every month, the pace is slower than Jio.

Both these operators are capturing the market share from BSNL, which has been losing customers at an alarming rate. As per a report by Nomura, BSNL had a market share of 44% in fixed broadband before the launch of JioFiber in September 2019. Since then, the state-run firm’s share has come down to 21.5%.
As per data shared by Trai, as on August, the wireline broadband base of BSNL stood at 5.49 million, followed by 3.71 million of Reliance Jio, 3.69 million of Bharti, 1.95 million of ACT and 1.08 million of Hathway Cable.

Since BSNL has been offering wired broadband services for long, it still is the top operator in the space, but as private telcos speed up their optic fibre laying, the company may not hold on top for much longer.

As on August, BSNL has 21.5% market share in fixed broadband followed by Reliance Jio at 14.5% and Bharti Airtel at 14.45%.

With the Covid-led disruptions since last year, the uptake of fixed broadband (FBB) has increased. In August last year, Jio had announced new tariff packages, with the monthly starting price point as low as Rs 399. Bharti Airtel too had followed suit with a starting price of Rs 499 for its FBB plans. Both the companies have been adding healthy subscribers every month while extending the reach.

As per analysts, India’s wired broadband space still has a minority share in the overall broadband market but it has immense potential to grow. Before COVID, the subscriber growth has been modest in the last five years, with annual CAGR of just 5% but the pace has picked up since last year. So far, fixed broadband has been an urban product and had limited uptake in rural areas, which has given way to increased wireless consumption in India, which has a far easier and convenient installation/activation.

Globally, wired broadband is well-established and significantly utilised for data consumption as it is cheaper than wireless. In contrast, in India, the need for data consumption is fulfilled through wireless as it is cheaper. But with Jio’s entry in home broadband space in 2019 and its huge target, other players such as Bharti Airtel have also increased their focus in this space in a bid to gain ground.

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