Decode the high-stakes battle between Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel as they compete for dominance. How will it impact the telecom space?
Since Reliance Jio stepped into the telecom industry, it has caused massive disruption, leaving the once-mighty giants like Vodafone, Idea, and Airtel scrambling to keep up. Vodafone and Idea joined forces in their quest to stay competitive, but even that hasn’t proven sufficient to turn the tide.
The recent data published by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) reveals an interesting trend. In February 2023, Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel welcomed a substantial 19.8 lakh new customers, while Vodafone-Idea (Vi) experienced a loss of 20 lakh customers. This downward trajectory for Vi has been consistent for some time now, raising concerns about its ability to stay afloat.
Jio and Airtel have recognised the need to break away from the price war and offer something unique to customers. Rather than merely competing on pricing, both companies have decided to dominate the bundled services space. The telecom operators anticipate that Indian consumers will eventually opt for bundled plans from a single service provider, streamlining their TV, fixed broadband, and OTT subscriptions into one convenient package.
Strategic Journey: From Penetration to Expansion!
According to Economic Times, Jio and Bharti Airtel’s total user bases have increased to 426.17 million and 368.89 million, respectively, as of January 2023.
Jio initially focused on mass adoption and market penetration. By aggressively lowering prices and targeting home internet subscribers, it aimed to establish a strong presence in the industry. This approach required sacrificing short-term revenue for long-term market dominance.
In a recent move, Jio leveraged its customer base to expand into content and content distribution, aiming to become the go-to broadband and entertainment services provider.
During the popular Indian Premier League (IPL), Jio rolled out an aggressively priced broadband deal, offering unlimited data at 10 Mbps for a mere Rs 198, which was priced at Rs 399 earlier. To sweeten the deal, Jio introduced JioCinema as the official streaming platform for IPL, granting free access to all viewers. This strategic move captivated millions of IPL enthusiasts, hinting at early signs of triumph.
In response, Bharti Airtel introduced a similar plan priced at Rs 219 on their Airtel Thanks app, aiming to attract viewers and keep up with the competition.
What Does it Mean for Customers?
Amidst this quest for dominance, customers stand to benefit greatly. They will have access to an array of digital services tailored to their needs as telecom companies evolve to meet the demands of the ever-changing market. The friendly rivalry between Jio and Airtel will undoubtedly lead to innovative offerings, ensuring that customers receive top-notch services at competitive prices.
There were approximately 698.23 million broadband subscribers in India, according to TRAI, in 2020. The numbers might have gone beyond that by now. Telecom companies are eyeing a significant share of this market. The competition between Airtel and Jio is just beginning, and it is expected to intensify.
PS: Freebies have ended! On 15th May 2023, Reliance decided to transition from freebies and started charging Rs 999 for a yearly JioCinema subscription! And there you see, the new war is on track!
That’s it for today. We hope you’ve found this article informative. Remember to spread the word among your friends. Until we meet again, stay curious!
*The companies mentioned in the article are for information only. This is not investment advice.