The S&P BSE telecom index fell by almost 2 per cent on Thursday, with stocks of major telecom operators such as Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular figuring among the worst losers. During market closing time, the telecom index fell by 27.73 points or 1.88 per cent to close at 1,445.41 points. According to market observers, telecom players like Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular suffered losses following the announcement of launch of the JioPhone ‘intelligent smartphone’ by industrialist Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL) last week. On Thursday, Bharti Airtel was the worst loser on the BSE and closed 2.40 per cent lower at Rs 416 per share. Airtel was followed by Idea Cellular, down 2.11 per cent at Rs 92.65 per share, and MTNL, down 1.87 per cent at Rs 20.95 per share.