Connect with us

CT Stories

Home broadband space seems headed for disruption

With Mukesh Ambani’s promise to launch JioAirFiber on the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi on September 19, and fulfil each and every demand for Jio 5G broadband connection across the country by December, the home broadband space is poised for a disruption.

JioFiber service already serves over 10 million customers. With JioAirFiber, the telco is expanding its addressable market to over 200 million homes and other premises.

“JioAirFiber uses our pan-India 5G network and advanced wireless technologies to bypass the need for last-mile fibre. Through optical fibre, we can currently connect around 15,000 premises daily. But with JioAirFiber, we can supercharge this expansion with up to 150,000 connections per day which is a 10-fold increase,” said Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Industries Limited at its Annual General Meeting held on August 28, 2023.

Bharti Airtel already offers the services under Xstream AirFiber brand. Airtel launched the services on August 7, 2023 in the two cities, Delhi and Mumbai. With its Xstream AirFiber, Airtel offers up to 100 Mbps speed. The monthly rental for the same has been kept at Rs 799 and consumers can get the consumer premise equipment (CPE) for connecting to internet at a one-time refundable security deposit of Rs 2,500. Airtel is also offering a discount of 7.5% to consumers who opting for a six-month plan.

Commenting on the initiative, Shashwat Sharma, Director – Consumer Business Bharti Airtel, had said, “India has seen the rapid growth of home broadband but there still remain areas with no access to hi-speed internet at home due to the physical challenges of laying fiber in a country the size of India. While fiber to the home will always define the best experience of Wi-Fi at home, AirFiber helps bridge the experience gap for everyone else. All Xstream AirFiber devices will be manufactured in India under the “Make in India” programme.”

Of the total 861.47 million broadband subscribers in June 2023, 826.37 million are wireless and 35.1 million are wireless. Of the 35 million wired broadband connections Jio has 9.17 million, Bharti Airtel 6.54 million, BSNL 3.66 million, Atria Convergence Technologies 2.16 million and Hathway Cable & Datacom 1.12 million.

Experts views
“We believe the target of 200 million homes is aggressive, given India’s overall wired subscriber base is still 35 million and would depend on pricing,” Kotak Institutional Equities said in a recent report.

“We think this is Jio’s strategy for increasing the market’s fibre adoption before upselling at a later stage. We continue to think that the company can repeat the mobile success in fibre, which is a large opportunity. Jio Platforms also has strong ambition in fixed wireless access that can be game-changing for the FWA industry globally”, said NewStreet Research.

“Traction in JioAirFiber will be dependent upon its pricing versus the plan launched by Airtel and versus JioFiber plans. We believe the company will launch JioAirFiber at a discount to Bharti Airtel’s plan,” Emkay Global said.

CT Bureau

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

error: Content is protected !!