Atria Convergence Technologies Ltd (ACT), the country’s third largest wired broadband provider by users, believes Reliance Jio’s expected entry in the segment will bring down average prices per user while increasing fibre penetration through a “market explosion".
“There will be some amount (of down-trading in tariff with Jio’s entry). But the problem with wired space is (the lack of) availability. There is enough market here across price points. We deliver services at multiple price points, from ₹400 to ₹1,500," Bala Malladi, chief executive officer, ACT, said in an interview.
“The current level of penetration (of wired internet) in the country is 7%. I think there is going to be a market explosion with Jio coming in. That’s where it will be good for all the players," Malladi said. The commercial launch of Reliance Jio GigaFiber is expected to disrupt the wired broadband market in a similar way Reliance Jio disrupted wireless. Reliance Jio has launched the registration process with an aim to connect 50 million homes but has not announced pricing plans yet. Bharti Airtel Ltd, on the other hand, plans to focus on premium customers and expand its broadband service across India’s top 100 cities, instead of copying Jio’s ambitious plan to create a fibre-optic network across 1,100 cities.
According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), there were just 18 million wired broadband subscribers in the country as of November-end. BSNL leads the pack with 9.17 million users, Airtel has 2.26 million, and ACT comes in at number three with 1.38 million users.
Ahead of Jio’s entry, Bengaluru-based ACT has also opted for a new brand identity with the unveiling of the logo and tagline “Feel the Advantage". The company believes this represents its approach towards offering solutions to enhance user experience.
The company is also partnering with content partners like ZEE5 and Sony Liv to boost bundled portfolios with the aim of giving consumers more than just wired internet through its product ACT Fibernet. It has partnerships with content platforms such as Hooq and Alt Balaji.