5 mins read . 25 Apr 2023
Reliance Jio, a company which is known to bring disruptions in otherwise monopolized industries, is at it again. This time around, it emerged as the winner in the home broadband sector. Presently, Jio has around 9 million home broadband users with a market share of a whopping 31%. These figures are already better than Bharti Airtel, which has a home broadband market share of 25% with 7.20 million home users. So, what exactly is the Jio home broadband story? It is an interesting amalgam of cheaper tariffs, bundled offerings, and nationwide connections facilitating the process.
This was a great driving factor in bolstering the demand for Jio Fibre products. At the end of March 2023, the Rs198 entry plan was introduced ahead of the Indian Premier League, starting from 10 MBPS. In contrast, the cheapest bundled plan offered by Airtel started at Rs699 per month, which comes with a broadband connection and entertainment apps with speeds up to 40 MBPS. However, the Jio entry plan fell into the same wavelength as the needs of residents of Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities who need the internet for basic purposes like streaming movies or watching cricket matches (in fact, Jio provides IPL streaming for free!).
In 2016, Jio had been viewed by the masses as a backup SIM card option atop their primary Airtel or Vodafone SIM card. However, most of the citizens ended up primarily switching to Jio due to its array of services and financial feasibility. Jio fibre plans are intended to act in a similar way and make a trojan-like entry into the otherwise crowded broadband market. This helps Jio by not having to directly attack the heavyweight’s brand image in the market. Instead, it lets the demonstrated performance speak for itself.
Probably, Reliance Jio has taken some valuable lessons from the marketing battles between Pepsodent and Colgate in the good old days. Despite the direct attacks by Pepsodent and the series of legal battles, even today loyal Colgate users continue to use Colgate products only. Jio believes that people will automatically shift once they see a better quality of services offered with greater reliability, at greater speed and a more economical price point.
While Jio is currently using optic fibres to connect homes, in the future, their wireless solutions will help them in providing home broadband services at much lower rates than fibre. Wireless networks are much cheaper to operate and maintain than wired networks, which are prone to breakage due to digging and construction activities. Optic fibres also require carefully crafted materials for their core and cladding, which in turn require state-of-the-art engineering. In addition, wireless networks also allow faster data transfers and can be used almost anywhere remotely without the need for extra cables and adapters.
On the other hand, Airtel has not shown any active optimism about the fixed wireless solutions owing to the high cost of set-up and distribution. They are focused on providing optic fiber solutions at the moment and believe that over time, the costs will abate and only then will it be feasible to explore this facet of broadband services. For now, it looks like Reliance Jio has stolen a march in the home broadband segment. In a sense, it is also an extension of the popularity and reach of the mobile network for telecom users.
CONTENT SOURCE: FINANCIAL EXPRESS