No industry has ever seen the kind of competition unleashed by Reliance with the country’s richest man steering the wheel to disrupt the future of India’s telecom sector that had robbed consumers indiscriminately since the beginning of this century in 2000.
The market leader Airtel swayed the market with free now pay later schemes but other players followed highly indigenous ways to maximize revenue in the name of expansion of infrastructure or erecting more towers.
Finally, it took a heavy toll on UPA-I government when corruption and scandals hit the government over the auction irregularities that saw a minister being sent to jail while many of cohorts are still making rounds to courts of trial.
Despite its corporate calculations, Reliance Jio Infocomm has disrupted the market determinedly that any player has to either adjust to new rules of the game or exit now. Airtel, Aircel, Vodafone and Idea cellular are in a line to protest against Relian Jio disruptive schemes but the mega corporate identity is not bowing down, with the consumer getting the final reward.
With the mobile 4G broadband free offer followed by paid one at Rs.303 per month for 28 GB, Reliance Jio has already pocketed 150 lakh customers and the latest is the launch of home broadband services around Diwali from JioFiber, at around 100 GB of data for Rs 500. Compare this with Airtel’s 50 GB data for Rs.1,000 or Tata Indicom’s 40GB data for Rs.1,400. Who will stay in the market and who will exit is anybody’s guess.
Home broadband is relatively a smaller market compared to mobile broadband with 20 million wireline broadband users. State-run BSNL accounts for half of it followed by Bharti Airtel 1.9 million and Tata Indicom at less than half a million.
Rohan Dhamija at Analysys Mason told ET : “Powered by larger capacity on the supply side as well as innovative pricing, it (JioFiber) would look to disrupt the fixed broadband business similar to its disruption of the mobile business.”
Jio, which has launched its 4G mobile broadband in September 2016 with a free offer for 3 months, followed by another 3 months and then again three month 4G for one month payment, is pondering similar free schemes to prove that Reliance JioFiber is there to disrupt the wireline broadband too.
The JioFiber network is currently being rolled out in metros including Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon and widen the reach to 100 cities by the end of this year, said ET report.