Indians love television. I know, I was there recently. Growing up, we were treated to one measely state-owned television network that broadcast really boring stuff in black-and-white. A lot has changed since then – there are nearly 60 odd networks now which beam everything from Sluts in The City to Jay Leno to Indian soaps, and 24-hour news. It is not surprising to find that like Japan, South Korea and China, India is jumping onto the IPTV bandwagon. IPTV is just a fancy way of saying television signals sent over copper/fiber networks using the “internet protocol.” According to a report in Financial Express, Atlas Interactive is going to launch a service called NetTV in Delhi and some of its fast growing satellite towns. Eventually this is going to be launched in 38 cities, and the signals will be sent over the state-owned phone company, BSNL’s local loop.
The service will cost around $22 a month, plus cost of the set-top box. BSNL will get about 29% of the total revenues. The project cost is around $200 million, which in my mind is a good opportunity for any company trying to sell “triple-play” gear. I have a feeling the project will have a tough time because of two reasons – the service costs too much $22 a month versus about $5 a month for cable package. In addition, Reliance Infocomm is rolling out a fiber-to-the-home project that is going to cost substantially less I am told and will have a huge video/music on demand library as well. (Here is a link to the press release!)