Why despite cheap prices, JioFiber might not be such a game-changer

Brokerage and investment group Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia (CLSA) released a paper yesterday analysing the impact of JioFiber’s launch, saying that it might not shake up the Indian wireless broadband market by much.  

Comparing prices and data allowances for its high-speed broadband and Set Top Box connections, it said that, “..While Jio’s (Fiber) Bronze plan is competitive, its Silver and Gold plans are comparable to Bharti Airtel and, hence, offer limited scope for customers to downtrade. We see a limited impact on our Bharti Airtel estimates and Dish TV given its lower Arpus, yet TV smartification by Jio could adversely impact broadcasters in the longer run”.

At the same time, its impact on government owned BSNL could be different, the paper predicted. “..Market-share shifts are likely with Jio gaining share especially from operators like BSNL, with the lure of faster speed assuming they can match BSNL’s reach.”

A new product launched by Jio Infocomm Limited, JioFiber has plans beginning at Rs 699 and going upto Rs 10,000 a month at speeds ranging from 100 Mbps to 1Gbps, respectively with gifts and free voice calling and set top boxes with OTT app connections being offered along with it on specific plans.

However, the authors Deepti Chaturvedi and Akshat Agarwal inferred that Jio’s pricing ‘has not been lowered considerably’. Analysing the service’s pricing, the paper read, “While Jio’s plans are 13-23 per cent cheaper in absolute terms, their data allowance is 20-40 per cent lower due to which JioFiber is effectively 8-27 per cent costlier than Bharti Airtel.” Thus, Jio’s command might not go beyond the current 18 million households worth of market share that wireless broadband currently commands, however it could add to the OTT viewership on TV threatening future prospects of broadcasters.

TV households at 197m are currently over 10x of wireline broadband households at 18m, of which only 1m are on Fiber broadband, due to which OTT content consumption is still largely on mobiles. 


All in all, the firm said that it would predict JioFiber to hold a 40 per cent share in the wireless broadband market or 7.5 million households..

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