Bharti Airtel, a leading telecom operator in India, is now very close to reaching 1000 cities with fiber broadband services. During Q1 FY23, Airtel added 1.7 million home passes. The need for fixed-line fiber broadband services is at an all-time high now. Airtel Xstream Fiber is already one of the largest ISPs (internet service providers) in India. Reliance Jio's JioFiber is the only brand ahead of Airtel Xstream Fiber. Airtel is aggressively adding new subscribers to the fiber broadband domain. This is something that will pay off for the telco in the medium to long run as fiber broadband users, on average, pay multiple times more than mobile service users.
Airtel CEO Talks About Fiber Broadband Business
"Our broadband business has continued to see very strong customer additions driven by rapid rollouts and solid marketing. During the quarter,
we added 1.7 Mn home passes on the back of accelerated rollouts through the local cable operator model," said Gopal Vittal, CEO of Bharti Airtel.
Airtel is now present in 983 cities with its broadband business. During the quarter, the company added 3,10,000 customers and reported a 5.7% sequential revenue growth.
"l. With this, we are now present in 983 cities. We are making solid investments in this segment to build a pole position in the broadband market. As a result, we added 310K customers and reported 5.7% sequential revenue growth. This was despite some offset of a one-off benefit in Q4FY22," said Vittal.
Expanding fiber to all parts of the country is a difficult issue for ISPs. But for a company such as Airtel, with access to huge capital and a strong brand, it is only a matter of time before its services will be present everywhere in the country. There are limitations to where optical fibre can be laid, and thus in those areas, the telco can serve customers will mobile internet and connectivity services. Telcos now have access to the E-band spectrum for backhaul support.