Airtel launches DTH service

Airtel launches DTH service

New Delhi: Telecom operator Bharti Airtel made its debut in the television space with the launch of its direct to-home (DTH) satellite television service, which will offer over 175 channels across the country from 9 October.

The service would be available to customers through 21,000 retail points including Airtel Relationship Centres in 62 cities.

“This is a right time for Airtel to enter the market the launch of Airtel digital TV is the culmination of our ‘three screens´ strategy, which is to be present across mobile phone, computer and TV screens. We are very clear at Airtel and will take over as a leader of the sector as soon as possible," Airtel chief executive officer and managing director Manoj Kohli said.

At present there are five DTH players in the Indian market. There are 225 million households across the country and the penetration is only 3% for DTH services.

“There is a huge potential in this market. We believe that the Indian DTH segment offers immense growth potential going forward. With added benefits of Airtel’s strong brand equity and wide distribution network, we are well placed to emerge as a leading player in the segment," he added.

Initially , the company had introduced three different packages for the North and Southern markets.

For the Northern market, the package starts from Rs2,499 and for the South, the package would start from Rs1,499.

“Depending on the language and genre of channels, the monthly tariffs would range from Rs125 to Rs424," he informed.

The company would also offer special deals for its eight million existing mobile, broadband and other customers.

Kohli further said that the company’s DTH services would have universal remote for both set-top box (STB) that receive signal from the antenna, and the television set, besides other features such as high STB memory, exclusive interactive applications, onscreen games and more efficient battery.

“Airtel digital TV uses the MPEG4 standard with DVB S2 technology, which translates into picture clarity and consistent high quality audio for the customer," he said, adding: “This technology also enables delivery of more complex interactive content and is High Definition ready."