There is a fear amid the market that Vodafone Idea (Vi) might go bankrupt in case the telco doesn’t get enough relief from the government or isn’t able to find a new investor. This would hurt all the users on the telco’s network as they will have to port their SIMs to other companies’ networks. However, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) might benefit a lot from the bankruptcy of Vodafone Idea. This is because all of Vi’s 2G users will shift to BSNL’s networks because they won’t be able to afford Airtel’s increased tariff plans and shifting to Jio would mean they will have to buy a new smartphone.
BSNL Can Get a Flock of Users from Vodafone Idea
Airtel would increase the tariffs of its plans as soon as Vodafone Idea goes bankrupt. This is to ensure that only high average revenue per user (ARPU) customers join its networks. Jio might not see an influx of 2G users from Vi because it would require them to purchase a new smartphone which many won’t.
This will make BSNL the ideal choice for the users since the telco offers low-end plans and legacy network services. Jio still might be able to attract some new users with the launch of the JioPhone Next on September 10, 2021. For the unaware, JioPhone Next is a budget 4G smartphone developed in partnership with Google and Reliance Jio to offer the best of 4G and Android to Indian users at a very low cost.
Bharti Airtel would also need to jump in here with an affordable 4G smartphone or subsidies on 4G smartphones for the 2G users of Vi to ensure that it doesn’t stay behind Reliance Jio a lot. At the same time, the telcos will have to work on increasing their network capacity so that they can manage all the data demands by customers across the country.