State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) once a leader in the home broadband and wired segments is now struggling to retain market share as both Jio and Airtel aggressively expand their footprint.

Aside from competition from private companies, the reason for BSNL’s declining market share in the fixed home broadband space is poor investment and poor quality services, according to experts.

Expressing their concern about falling market share, BSNL CMD PK Purwar in a meeting with circuit heads last month, asked to know the reasons behind the increasing number of disconnects in the fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) sector.

State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd BSNL Home Broadband BSNL Market Share Jio Airtel Fiber to the Home FTTH Indian Express Indian Express News

In the FTTH segment, the company currently has 3.54 million subscribers as of the end of February, compared to Jio and Airtel at 8.02 million and 5.98 million, respectively. BSNL lost its number one spot in the sector to Jio in November 2021, within just two years of the commercial launch of JioFiber.

In December 2019, Jio had only 0.8 million wired broadband connections, while BSNL had 8.39 million subscribers and Airtel had 2.42 million subscribers. Back in February 2023, Jio is the market leader, Airtel is aggressively expanding share with last-mile partner base, and BSNL is struggling to maintain market share.

Similarly, in the wireline segment under which internet services are provided with a land connection, BSNL’s subscriber base was 7.06 million as of the end of February. For Jio and Airtel, their wireline subscriber base was 8.8 million and 7 million, respectively. Analysts believe that within a month or two, Airtel will overtake BSNL to become the second largest player in the telecommunications sector.

“High disconnection rate in FTTH is a serious concern and it is alarming for circuits where the disconnection rate is more than 30%,” according to a document containing excerpts from the meeting between BSNL CMD and the circuits chief.

At the meeting, the department heads were asked to ensure that the network uptime should be more than 99% and that it is a non-negotiable key performance indicator (KPI). Furthermore, department heads need to organize an open house with telecom infrastructure partners to assess network performance and troubleshoot and remove root causes behind any service issues.

In terms of resolving customer complaints as well, the company has instructed department heads to take prompt and robust decisions.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *