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Reliance WebWorlds to double up as mini-theatres

Our Bureau

Bangalore , Dec. 27

RELIANCE web outlets will soon start screening movies and double up as mini-theatres for its subscribers.

Reliance WebWorlds, retail outlets of Reliance Infocomm, plan to screen movies and provide digital music entertainment soon. "We should start screening movies soon. We are currently tackling the licensing issues," Reliance WebWorld's circle head for Karnataka, Mr Akhilesh Prasad, told Business Line.

Mr Prasad said webworlds will be provided with a screen on which movies can be screened though at a fixed time each day. As each webworld is equipped with modular furniture, they can be rearranged to accommodate around 40 chairs. Customers can also view movies of their choice by accessing Reliance Infocomm library through the net. Each of these webworld outlets has a customer convenience centre, Javagreen, a gourmet coffee bar and a real broadband centre for accessing applications like video chat and conferencing, multiplayer online gaming, digital personalised music, digital theatre, digital photo imaging, virtual office and real broadband high speed internet.

Mr Prasad said customers to the webworld outlets will also have access to select songs of their choice and copy them on to a CD. He said during the next fiscal, Reliance plans to launch its landline phones all over the country. This will allow subscribers to access Internet and watch movies, listen to music of their choice through set-top boxes.

Reliance plans to open 110 webworlds by the end of January and by March, around 1,500 webworld expresses, a PCO-based outlets. "We will have a nationwide chain of retail stores of digital entertainment and communication," Mr Prasad said. Currently, there are around 250 webworlds which handle around 50,000 walkins everyday.

Mr Prasad said corporate houses including FMCG product companies have started using the outlets to hold video conferencing with their dealers and agents. "They have been able to cut down costs substantially because of this facility," he said.

The outlets are run by franchisees whose investment is confined to paying a deposit while Reliance invests in the infrastructure including hardware.

As part of the promotion of the outlets, Reliance Infocomm recently hosted the popular game tournament, Halo Multiplayer championship. Halo is a science fiction epic, a first person shooter game and the championship is being held in seven cities in India. The finals will be held on December 28 with a total prize money of Rs 2 lakh. The winner will be invited to participate in the world championship to be held at Los Angeles in the US.

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