Bharti Airtel recently came out with the performance results for Q3 FY22. The broadband business of the telco has hit the 4 million customers milestone during the quarter, said Gopal Vittal, CEO, Bharti Airtel, in the earnings call. Sequential growth for the broadband business has been strong at 11.8%.
Vittal explained that what has really worked out for the company is its Uber-like digital model with the LCOs (Local Cable Operators) and also the acceleration in the rollout of fiber in the top 100 cities.
Airtel’s Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) presence has expanded to over 672 towns now. This enabled the company in adding 1.1 million home passes during the quarter. Vittal said that Airtel believes FTTH is a huge opportunity for the company.
The Airtel CEO confirmed that the telco would step up its investments in the fiber rollout for reaching its 2000 towns with its network across India in the next three years. This also includes hitting the goal of 35 million home passes during the same period.
Airtel Growing at Rapid Pace in Broadband Segment
Charu Paliwal, an analyst at Counterpoint Research, told TelecomTalk that Airtel is not far behind BSNL in broadband. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is in the fixed-line broadband segment, and it would also overtake BSNL in the coming months.
Note that Jio went past BSNL in the broadband segment in November and became the largest fixed-line internet service provider in India. Airtel is likely to follow suit with the investments that it is making and the new towns it is expanding to.
BSNL doesn’t have the kind of money or resources Airtel and Jio do, and that is why it is lagging behind when it comes to adding new broadband subscribers. The state-run telco has been losing subscriber market share both in the wireline and wireless service market. It will be worth observing how the market plays out in the coming months.