Analysis: An overview of competing telecom products and services in India

Every avid reader in India who has been reading about and following the country’s telecom scene must’ve come across terms like 4G/LTE, Spectrum, VoLTE, cloud services and the likes a lot, more so in the past two years. We’ve been hearing for a while about consolidation of small players, stiff competition and how Reliance Jio is going to revolutionize the Indian telecom scene by offering fast Internet at dirt-cheap prices when the company will finally start offering its services commercially.


Like any other end consumer I don’t know when Reliance Jio will start its commercial services, but its entry in the Indian telecom industry will bring a series of changes in the Indian telecom industry in 2016. Consolidation will happen, and this year will bring a tough time for small telecom players as they will face stiff competition from bigger players in the market. Leaving the terms like spectrum, 4G/LTE, and VoLTE aside, I am rather more focused on differential service offerings and quality that reaches the end customer.There have been quite a few announcements, rumors and speculations in the market along with some confusions with end customers.

Some notable reports and speculations:

  1. Reliance Communication in merger talks with Aircel.
  2. Tata in merger talks with Telenor or vice versa.
  3. Videocon telecom spectrum sharing with Idea, Telenor, and split into different companies.
  4. Airtel may buy Aircel 4G spectrum.
  5. BSNL tower sharing pact with Aircel and other telecom operator.

However, all these imaginations and speculations do not affect an end customer. An end customer only cares about the quality of the service and the price according to their requirements. Thinking with an end customer’s point of view, let’s analyse the services and products that are being offered and are available from fiercely competing telecom operators and how Reliance Jio compares to those services.

In this analysis, I will be focusing on products and services that are being offered by telecom operators like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea when compared to Reliance Jio’s services. Let’s have a high-level overview of the products (including apps and services) in the competition. The table embedded below gives a clearer idea on what exactly is on the offering from these high-profile telecom operators.

Services Airtel Vodafone Idea Rjio
Mobile Services Mobile Services via 2G/3G/4G – Will be deploying and providing VoLTE related services as well Mobile Services via 2G/3G/4G – Will be deploying and providing VoLTE related services as well Mobile Services via 2G/3G/4G – Will be deploying and providing VoLTE related services as well Mobile Services on 4G/VoLTE, VoWiFi backed by tie ups to provide voice calling
Money/Wallet Services airtel money m pesa Idea Money jioMoney
DTH Services DTH N/A N/A Will be providing services via LTE Network
Broadband Services airtel Broadband In talks with Youbroadband for possible acquisition Broadband services available in only few select cities Broadband services via FTTH
FixedLine telephony FixedLine services N/A N/A N/A
Wi-Fi Services Wi-Fi Services Wi-Fi Services Wi-Fi Services Wi-Fi Services
Own Brand Mobiles N/A N/A Idea 3G SmartPhones * LYF Brand to support & provide VoLTE & VoWiFi
Application Eco-System
Services Application my Airtel App my Vodafone My Idea My Jio
Music Wynk Music Vodafone Music Jio Beat
Movies Wynk Movies Jio On Demand
Games Wynk Games Jio Games
Mobile TV mobile TV Mobile TV Mobile TV Jio Play (Live TV)
Video Calling Jio Join
Miscellaneous applications
Media Share Jio Media Share
Broadcast Jio Broadcast
Magazines Jio Mag
News Jio News
File Share Jio Switch
Chat Application  Hike Jio Chat
App Store Jio App Store
Wi-Fi Offloading App airtel Hangout Wi-Fi Connect Jio WiFi*

From the above table it’s clear that the services launched by Reliance Jio are not exclusive. It’s the pricing, quality/quantity and a package of applications that Reliance Jio is offering that makes a difference. There are a few exclusive offerings that are available from Rjio which can be used for or on the top of its services only.

The app ecosystem that’s being offered by Reliance Jio already have alternatives or can be replicated by using services like Google Drive, WhatsApp, Saavn and other apps that are already available in the market which people are habituated to. It’s clear from the above table that the services launched by Reliance Jio are not exclusive or ground breaking. However, it’s the bouquet of services that are being offered under one roof to a customer in different segments. Moreover, it’s clear from this analysis that Airtel can pose a stiff competition to other players in the market.

Please let us know your thoughts and opinions on various services offered by telecom operators through the comments section.

Note: *Only consumer-centric services are taken into consideration. Manual work involved in consolidating the services provided by various operators across circles, may or may not have flaws. Please do let us know in case of any corrections. Services of Reliance Jio indicated are assumptions or as per the available resources, which may alter when services are commercially available.

*BSNL, TATA, Aircel, Telenor, Videocon Telecom have been ignored in this case study.

*Services available or to be available soon at the time of writing this article.

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24 Comments on "Analysis: An overview of competing telecom products and services in India"


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February 3, 2016 11:15 am 11:15 AM

Any idea when airtel will launch 3g on 900mhz in punjab ??

Santosh Shetty
February 2, 2016 10:10 pm 10:10 PM

Good analysis Sri.

Once they launch the service ,will wait for a similar analysis where call , data and sms charges are compared.
Network test through drive test in key areas can also be incorporated..

February 2, 2016 3:12 pm 3:12 PM

idea soon offer fixed line services.