Airtel Vs Jio Fiber Broadband War: Which Is The Cheapest
Bharti Airtel is pulling out all stops to take on Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm’s home broadband offerings. Come September, the Sunil Mittal-led telco will bundle a customised Android-based smart set top box (STB) to deliver converged digital entertainment and fast broadband services, aimed at matching JioFiber’s upcoming offerings.
Airtel’s Android STB is likely to come with a host of new-look, integrated customs packages that will target postpaid mobile users, broadband and direct-to-home (DTH) digital TV customers, treating them as uniform home users of the company’s converged telecommunications services, said two people with direct knowledge.
Customers choosing Airtel’s upcoming suite of converged entertainment cumbroad band services will have access to premium OTT content, streaming applications, HD TV channels, virtual reality apps for interactive gaming services, in addition to high-speed broadband with potential base rates of 100 Mbps on selected plans.
Pricing and package strategies would be “calibrated in line with competition intensity,” says another person after Post-Jio’s home-based broadband services.
Last week, RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani had said telecom arm Reliance Jio would launch home broadband services from September 5, with plans ranging between Rs 700 and Rs 10,000 a month.
Experts have said Jio’s promise of a free high-definition TV and a set top box for people opting for its annual broadband plans as part of a ‘Welcome Offer’ could unleash another wave of disruption in the telecom and DTH markets.
People who are aware of the trend said that Airtel could roll out its converged entertainment sum-broadband tariff packages early next month around the time of the JioFiber launch.
Earlier this month, Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal said in a revenue call that the company’s immediate game plan is to take steps to make it attractive for customers to upgrade to higher, valuable tariff plans that would help maintain average revenue per user (ARPU) growth torque. Airtel’s Indian mobile services business has recently shown strong resuscitation signals, underlined by growth in ARPU.
Goldman Sachs sees low opportunity to download Airtel in the broadband space at home, following Jio’s big ticket ads because Sunil Mittalled telco has upgraded customers to higher bandwidth offers.