State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and over-the-top content platform YuppTV on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding to offer bundled video content to broadband subscribers of the telecom operator.
YuppTV is an Internet-based TV and on-demand service provider with content in 12 languages across South Asia. It also offers YuppFlix, movie-on-demand streaming service for expat market.
With this partnership, YuppTV will be able to deliver content on 2.5G, 3G and 4G networks of BSNL to its mobile broadband and even fixed line users.
“BSNL has 120 million users. Yupp brings content on global scale. We will work on a very unique proposition to bring highly rich experience to customer on strong technology backbone. Marriage between infotainment and telecom networks will happen," BSNL chairman and managing director P K Purwar said at the MoU signing ceremony.
“Content is key to drive data consumption. Original content is the game of the day," he said, adding that the bundling proposition will be a compelling one for BSNL subscribers.
This marks another attempt by the public sector unit to retain and grow its subscriber base in the highly competitive telecom market and earn revenue from users.
Content strategy of telcos has become extremely crucial after Jio’s entry in September 2016 brought down data tariffs to rock bottom. With all operators bringing prices down, tariffs have failed to provide a meaningful competitive edge in the industry.
Meanwhile, BSNL is also struggling with running day to day operations and paying salaries on time. The company has been making losses continuously since 2009-10 and declared ‘incipient sick’.
The company has also sought spectrum by equity infusion of ₹6,767.5 crore.
The DoT is currently working on a revival plan for it which suggests voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) for employees and BSNL’s land monetisation.
BSNL, as of March 2018, owns land worth ₹70,000 crore and buildings worth ₹3,760 crore.
DoT plans to fund VRS packages for BSNL at ₹6,365 crore and through bonds. BSNL has 176,000 employees. The VRS, however, needs to be approved by the Telecom Commission and the Union Cabinet.