Hyderabad-based Apalya Technologies Pvt. Ltd wants to offer mobile TV and video-on-demand services to cellular users at affordable prices, using less bandwidth. The company has partnered with 30 television channels and is conducting trials with an Indian GSM operator.
Mobile TV is a relatively new service, even globally, and is typically offered in 3G (third generation) markets, as it requires a lot of bandwidth to transmit video content.
Currently, most of the video content available to users here consists of 30-second clips, or at the most, music videos. Apalya has tweaked the boundaries between downloadable clips and live TV broadcast to deliver mobile TV services. The company offers time-shifted television channels (a 10-minute lag from the live broadcast), which users can watch for a maximum of five minutes at a stretch. It uses a technology called “progressive download” that enables smooth viewing at lower bandwidth, similar to YouTube videos in the online space.
Progressive download: Shiva Bayyapunedi (left) and B.Vamshi Reddy, co-founders and directors, Apalya Technologies.
“It is ideal for watching news channels or small bytes of entertainment channels,” says co-founder Shiva Bayyapunedi. In its trial version, users can avail the service for a monthly fee of Rs15 per channel, or surf all channels with a daily “pass” of Rs10.
Founders Bayyapunedi and B. Vamshi Reddy started the company in late 2005. Bayyapunedi was senior project manager for Wipro’s Symbian Nokia Mobile Platform Group, while Reddy had worked at Cisco Systems for eight years.
The company is in talks to secure venture capital funding.