The entry of Jio GigaFiber seems to have sent other existing players in the broadband market into a tizzy. With Jio GigaFiber set to roll-out around Diwali, Vodafone You, BSNL and Airtel are coming up with strategies to retain their existing users. Jio GigaFiber is expected to disrupt the broadband market by providing the service at 50% of the price of those offered by competitors, a marketing technique the Reliance owned company has applied in the telecom sector as well.
As of now, Jio GigaFiber is facing a delay in the services being rolled out due to resistance faced by Local Cable Operators (LCOs) who fear that they will not be able to compete with Jio, which could affect the industry with its low tariffs and offers, as per media reports. However, that has not stopped Jio from enticing consumers with free offers and other plans in a bid to expand its subscriber base. Jio recently announced that it is offering 300GB data free for 3 months. The company claims that Jio GigaFiber offers a speed of 1Gbps, via a ‘Fiber optic’ connectivity that provides a faster Internet connection.
This move is expected to check the efficiency of Jio GigaFiber while also inviting new users. Subscribers need to deposit a refundable security deposit of Rs 4,500 to avail the service. Jio GigaFiber has been rolled out in 900 cities and plans to expand into 200 more. Reliance is targeting small, medium as well as large enterprises to use this service. Although not much is known about the subscriber base of Jio GigaFiber yet, Jio disrupted the telecom market this year by adding 11 million subscribers in a single month to become the second largest operator in the country.
Vodafone You Broadband
Nevertheless, Vodafone’s You broadband in an attempt to retain its existing users and take on Jio GigaFiber announced up to four months of free subscription. All users who upgrade their validity till 12 months will get four months extra, thereby providing 16 months of broadband connection at an annual subscription rate. The plan, which expires on 30 September, also provides current users the following options: Those on a one month validity plan can upgrade to a three month plan and get one month subscription free; those who upgrade to a six month plan can get two months subscription free; and those upgrading to a twelve month plan can get four months subscription free, according to the Vodafone You website.
Vodafone You currently charges Rs 3237 for 1050GB data at speed of up to 150Mbps for 90 days (prices mentioned are applicable to Gurgaon). Vodafone mentioned in its quarterly results ending 30 June 2018 that the telecom operator now has 77 million data users, out of which 30.9 million are 4G data users. The company at the end of March 2018 had 76 million data users including 2G, 3G and 4G, of which 53.5 million used more than 1MB data. Also, during the month of March 2018, Vodafones YOU Broadband added 13,000 subscribers, as per a report on TelecomTalk.
Airtel Broadband too has announced that it would start its offers at Rs 499. Airtel last year announced that it had added over 2 million customers with the launch of its ‘V-fiber’, which enables broadband speeds of up to 100Mbps. Currently live in Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bhopal and Indore, ‘V-Fiber’ deployment was part of Airtel’s network transformation program called ‘Project Leap’. Airtel also offers free unlimited local and STD calling on all its home broadband plans. Bharti Airtel is the leading telecom operator in the market with 29.37% market share and 304.9 million subscriber base. The maximum speed Airtel offers is 300Mbps for 1200GB at Rs 2199 per month.
BSNL as of now is the leader in the broadband market with 9.30 million users followed by Airtel broadband. BSNL recently announced a plan it called “most economical broadband plan” in India, at Rs. 491 providing 20GB of data per day for a month at speeds of up to 20Mbps. The state owned telcom operator also offers unlimited voice calls to any network. In a bid to keep up with the intense competition in the market, BSNL also announced Fiber to the home (FTTH) plans at Rs. 777 with data of 500GB at a speed of up to 50Mbps and at Rs. 1,277 with data of 750GB and speed of up to 100Mbps.