Bangalore: With the broadband penetration gaining momentum, IPTV is set for a boom in India and is expected to be available in around 30 cities in the next 18-20 months, industry officials said.
IPTV is currently commercially available in Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata and is now showing signs of gaining traction in the Indian market.
Mumbai-based IPTV content provider IOL Broadband Ltd plans to deploy the triple-play service — telephone, high speed internet and cable television — in as many as 28 cities by March 2009.
“We plan to roll out the services in seven cities in 2007-08 and 21 cities in 2008-09,” said IOL Broadband director Mahendra Chouhan at the launch of BSNL IPTV services here.
BSNL also launched the services in Kolkata yesterday (14 August ).
“We have agreement with BSNL for 59 cities, and depending on the requirements and broadband penetration, we will prioritize them and launch,” Chouhan said.
As per the arrangement, IOL will provide content and market the services, while BSNL will provide access to customers.
BSNL chairman and managing director Kuldeep Goyal, who was present at the launch, said the state-owned telecom company has aggressive plans to expand the broadband network and also saw a great future for IPTV services in India.
BSNL has a broadband subscriber base of 1 million.
“We have ambitious plans for broadband expansion,” Goyal said. “For the coming three years, we have plans to add six million broadband connections every year.”
“You don’t have to have a cable connection now,” Goyal said.
The initial bouquet of IPTV services launched in Bangalore consists of 60-plus major channels, which include most of the top-rated ones. Soon, other premium channels would be included, officials said. Tariff per month for IPTV services is Rs150.
Another BSNL official present at the launch added: “I think, at a reasonable time, we will also bring in high definition TV.”