Airtel Digital plans to hook DTH subscriber to the Net

Vishwanath Kulkarni New Delhi | Updated on February 09, 2011

Television viewers will soon be able to fetch onto their screens content they want from a digital library or surf the Net using their set top box (STB) remote.

Direct-To-Home (DTH) operator Airtel Digital TV, leveraging its presence in telecom, expects to roll-out hybrid integrated STBs later this year, enabling consumers to hook on to the Net using broadband or wi-fi connectivity. This will rival Internet Protocol TV, making DTH interactive. Going forward, the company believes it could be a game changer in the competitive DTH business.

?We have started working on the hybrid integrated set-top-boxes and plan to introduce them during the year,? said Mr Ajai Puri, CEO, Airtel Digital TV. ?The idea is a DTH box can be integrated with broadband for a customer to go and watch beyond the linear content. He can pull the content from our library,? he added.

Airtel Digital saw its subscriber base crossing 51 lakh as of January-end within 21 months of launching its operations in October 2008. The company expects to build a digital library that would have content including sports and movies with its integrated set top box initiative.

?Content is available today. You can pick it up from the market,? Mr Puri said. However, Mr Puri refused to comment on the investments that Airtel is making in the integrated broadband-DTH offering, which the company believes ?is futuristic and will be a game changer?.

Airtel Digitaladded over 2.8 million customers in the first 10 months of the current fiscal, said Mr Sugato Banerjee, Chief Marketing Officer. The company is betting on interactive fare such as movie-on-demand and gaming services to drive its growth going forward.

Published on February 09, 2011

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