IPTV in India-Part III

Coming back to discussion on IPTV, will IPTV services be comparable in quality with those of DTH services?  Yes, they will be. As stated in earlier blogs, the basic difference between IPTV and Internet Television lies in the fact that IPTV is delivered on closed IP network (network is proprietary of service provider), where as Internet TV is delivered on public IP network. This fact ensures that the content delivered on private IP network will be of better quality & delivered with higher reliability. If someone is confusing IPTV with Internet TV, make sure that he/she is aware of the basic difference.

But the real differentiator for IPTV will be its content and price. But as we have seen, the offered services will be in the same price range as those offered in DTH category. Then for IPTV real differentiator will be its interactive nature. Apart from emails, chatting & banking what other services you could offer to consumers? Here is short list:

  • Telephone Caller ID information displayed on a TV screen.
  •  Incoming email alerts on the TV.
  •  Allowing users to view content from their home PC on the TV screen, such as photos and music. 
  •  Allowing users to control their Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) from any network connected PC or from a mobile phone

Some might foresee it for casting votes, or others for booking railway tickets, whatever it would be, there is huge potential for enhancing customer’s experience through interactivity. Remember that, this interactivity is limited to channel change onl,  in cable & satellite (DTH) television.

But during initial phase of launch the operators will be focusing on deploying new services & getting more subscribers on roll. Once the services are rolled out, then operators could think of launching these interactive services to garner more revenues. This model will be more effective in the sense that, it assures better RoI for operators without losing out to DTH on price, quality & reach issues.

Other than interactivity, as mentioned earlier there lies one more advantage of IPTV services. The Triple Play services offered in one bundle-namely VoIP, Internet & Television as compared to only television with limited interactivity in cable/satellite services. So will it really help BSNL/MTNL in establishing themselves as dominant players in IPTV space?

It is hard to predict as of now, but given the advantage of large pool of wire-line subscribers with Broadband connections, certainly they will grab major chunk of IPTV subscribers in coming months. With estimated predictions of 2-3 million subscribers by end of 2012, Indian market will amount to only 4{af589cdba9d77786c8c861317dbad60bba1e2ebbf56e2ffab874a1b59fde9ce3} of total global estimated customer base. So in there any room of competition?

Yes, but limited in some aspects. On one side, while we are promoting 3G/WiMAX & 4G as future of communication converged with Internet, IPTV might be limited to only wire-line broadband subscribers. With limited mobility, it could bring lesser benefits to nomadic users, which still forms the major chunk of user pool for many operators. But yes, in countries like India where we have very limited Broadband penetration due to number of reason, brining Internet to home through television might work for many households. 

While discussing it with my seniors, I realized how big this thing could be. IPTV will bypass the need of having a Computer to get on Internet (remember many households in India still can’t afford big investments like PC and TV comes readymade at home, so only with little investment of Rs 2000 we could actually bring Internet to masses). This aspect might prove crucial in success of IPTV services in India. We also hope that this might bring some new life into increasing Broadband penetration in India, but we just can’t link success of IPTV with Broadband penetration, directly. Given the cost effectiveness of IPTV in offering triple play services (most importantly Internet and Television both), one wouldn’t be surprised if IPTV service finds some initial success in getting customers on roll. The QoS service, which is said to be guaranteed on closed IP network, will decide on revenues & churn rates after initial success. Here pricing model might not work, as QoS will have to play a major role in marinating the sub base intact with low churn rate.

In last blog in series we will discuss how operator would carry IPTV from home environments to corporate along with future market trends in IPTV space, tomorrow.

Tags : Future IPTV in India