Our Bureau

Pune, Oct. 14

WORLDSPACE Satellite Radio has begun its operations in Pune. It offers music lovers a bouquet of 42 channels, which includesregional music, news, sports and information.

Talking to newspersons, Mr Deepak Varma, Managing Director, WorldSpace, said to avail themselves of the services, customers would have to subscribe to the WorldSpace services at a cost of Rs 150 per month and purchase either the basic set, BPL Diva costing Rs 3,790, the BPL Celeste II at Rs 4,990, the Polytron at Rs 6,990 or the Tongshi at Rs 8,190.

He said these handsets would be made available at 65 retail outlets in the city. The company is offering on the BPL Diva receiver, a price tag of Rs 1,499 and a three-month subscription of Rs 500 for the cost-conscious consumer. The reduced tariff is being offered for a period of three months and would be over by December. The subscription would be at Rs 1,800 after the free period.

He said music in all the four regional languages of the South - Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada - would be made available in addition to most of the north Indian languages.

He pointed out that work on the Marathi content was being carried out and it would be added to its bouquet of services soon. The rollout of WorldSpace services in Ahmedabad, Chandigarh and Kolkata would take placenext week, he said.

Mr Varma said the company is also planning to set up exclusive WorldSpace lounges in Pune where customers could walk in, experience the music and go back to decide. Pune would have two lounges which would be operational within a couple of months, he said. Work is already on at New Delhi and Mumbai for these lounges. The lounges are currently available only in Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Mr Varma said BPL Diva can be hooked on to the existing audio system in the car and the company is working on integrating it with the car audio system.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 15, 2005)
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