New Delhi: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, or BSNL, the state-run telco that is India’s largest by revenue, plans to use franchisees to roll out its IPTV, or Internet protocol television services, across 98 cities by the end of November as it tries to grow this business even as demand for alternative ways of receiving television signals increases.
BSNL has already appointed five franchisees: Aksh Optifibre, Smart Digivision Pvt Ltd, IOL Broadband Ltd, Times Broadband Ltd and Maharashtra Knowledge Company Ltd (MKCL).
PPP model: The firm expects to serve 150,000 clients by March. Harikrishna Katragadda / Mint
Apart from BSNL, which has already launched its IPTV services in some parts of the country, Bharti Airtel Ltd and Reliance Communications Ltd, the country’s largest and second largest mobile telephony firms by customers are also preparing to launch IPTV services.
“The IPTV roll-out is being done on a private-public partnership (PPP) model and three franchisees are to be allowed in each city after 4-5 months (of the launch by BSNL), depending on the potential of the area of operation. We have done three commercial launches in Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Kukas, a small village 30km away from Jaipur city,” said Anil Jain, deputy director general (broadband), BSNL.
Jain added that the company expected to serve 150,000 customers by March. “For the IPTV to take off, there should be some differentiating factor for the users to subscribe to the service,” said Kunal Bajaj, managing director of consultant BDA Connect Pvt. Ltd. “The compelling factor will be interactive features and value-added services.”