Our Bureau

Thiruvananthapuram, Sept. 13

ASIANET Satellite Communications will be commissioning a world-class digital head end at Kochi shortly.

According to Mr V. Ramanathan, Senior Manager (Marketing and Customer Care), this will benchmark the integrated services provider with global players and revolutionise the entertainment industry in the State.

The digital head end will enable the company to offer more than 120 digital quality channels through set-top boxes. Value-added services such as video-on-demand, movie-on-demand and music-on-demand will also become possible.

The company has already invested Rs 350 crore in setting up infrastructure and is planning to add substantial funds to improve quality of the network.

Asianet has become the biggest media and entertainment industry in the State providing direct employment to more than 1,000 people and indirect employment to another 10,000, Mr Ramanathan said.

The company commenced operations in 1993 as cable TV service provider.

From eight channels to start with, it now provides 80 simultaneous channels at what he said are affordable rates covering the entire State except Idukki district.

The company has recently launched a subscription programme for existing and new customers, titled "Pattum Pakittum".

It is also running a shopping festival "Mahalabham" in association with major brands. It also distributes "Grihasree", a complete family magazine free of cost to every cable subscriber.

ACV, the cable channel of the company, commenced cablecast in 1997, providing coverage on local events and news. Today, the ACV bouquet of seven channels caters to all segments of viewers.

Asianet is also broadband Internet service provider (ISP) offering high-speed broadband Internet in all major towns.

It is planning to expand reach to even villages, Mr Ramanathan added.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 14, 2005)
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