BSNL to Launch IPTV Service on Pilot Basis in Kerala Starting August 27: Report

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is reportedly set to launch Internet protocol television (IPTV) services. These services are said to begin in the Kerala circle starting August 27. Trials will be conducted for two months in the Kerala circle before commercial availability. The IPTV service trial is reported to be offered in three areas only – Ernakulam, Alleppey, and Thrissur. The trial period is said to be held from August 27 to October 31. Users who register to BSNL’s IPTV service before September 10 will reportedly get complimentary access to all free-to-air (FTA) channels for one month.

Telecom Talk reports that the commencement of trials for BSNL’s IPTV service was shared in a letter to all business operator heads by P G Nirmal, BSNL Kerala’s general manager for sales and marketing. An excerpt from the letter was shared by BSNL executive group, Sanchar Nigam Executives’ Association, on Twitter. This association has over 12,000 officers as members. The letter confirms that the IPTV service trial runs will be held in Ernakulam, Alleppey, and Thrissur from August 27 to October 31.

As an initial offer to attract customers, all the FTA channels will be provided free-of-cost for one month for all those who register for BSNL IPTV service before September 10. This offer is only for subscribers in the aforementioned trial areas.

The report says that BSNL IPTV service provider Cinesoft had earlier proposed a 50-50 revenue sharing model in May, wherein BSNL would earn Rs. 65 per connection. Cinesoft was also reported to provide IPTV feed for Rs. 25 per user, enabling local cable operators to earn Rs. 40 per connection. This was apparently an ‘unattractive package’ for local cable TV operators (LCOs) in Kerala as they claimed they got better offers from other multiple-system operators (MSOs). Failure to reach an ‘acceptable deal’ has reportedly caused delays in the launch of BSNL’s IPTV service.

A new revenue sharing system was proposed by Sanchar Nigam Executives’ Association wherein BSNL and Cinesoft share fixed revenue of Rs. 25 each. This system allowed LCOs to sell the IPTV service model at Rs. 130 per user but enabled them to earn Rs. 80 per connection. There is no clarity on whether BSNL opted for this proposed revenue sharing model, or it introduced a different model to seal an amicable deal.


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