Aksh Optifibre has tied up with BSNL to provide IPTV services over the state owned telcos network. BSNL currently has a total landline network of 40 million across India and 6 million in the north. The 20 cities covered will be across North India including the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and UP (West). As per the agreement Aksh needs to have 10,000 IPTV subscribers within 9 months across 20 cities.
According to this report the incremental cost for acquiring, creating content and subscribers is expected to be Rs 5 billion. Aksh has recently concluded a GDR / FCCB issue of USD $40 million in January 2008 to part finance the IPTV and VOIP services in Delhi and Mumbai. Asked in an interview about their strategy for IPTV, Mrs Namrata Sengupta, AGM Corporate Strategy replied “The strategy for IPTV is establishing two-way communication interactivity for the consumer which means you request for a program and you are delivered the same.” Well…somebody has been reading Wikipedia.
Aksh seems to be using a DRM’d digital video recorder cum set-top box considering a subscriber can re-view programs past 7 days. As per the interview, Sengupata adds Aksh is investing $37 million in its services business on IPTV and VoIP platforms and $7 million to expand the production capacity of optical fibre cable and FRP rods by around 20-50 per cent. She ends on a high note (sic) stating IPTV will do to India what the PC did to the US.
Shares of the company declined Rs 1.7, or 3.79%, to trade at Rs 43.2