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Services On Airtel DTH: Indiatimes Shopping, MakeMyTrip, WorldSpace, MapUnity, AskLaila, StarsTell

Internet companies feature prominently on Airtel Digital TV (DTH), and services appears to be a significant differentiator for Airtel. Some of the content and media services on offer:

– iAstro: powered by StarsTell, a services from WorldPhone, a VoIP player which is a part of Times Private Treaties (screencap)
iCity: has two components. The Maps are powered by MapUnity, and the estimations of traffic are a function of the number of mobile phones on a particular road. The other component is local business information (restaurants) and events, being powered by AskLaila. . Screencaps: Mapunity 1, Mapunity 2 , Asklaila
iLearn: is being powered by Edurite, and developed by Infosys (screencap)
iMatinee: powered by BookMyShow, a Web18 site
iNet: isn’t really Internet access on the mobile, but actually widgets which you can place on your TV screen. Widgets cover sports, news, stocks, a world time clock. The data is refreshed real time. (screencap)
iShop: powered by Indiatimes
iTravel: travel packages are powered by MakeMyTrip. You can’t book a ticket, but you can SMS a package to a number, and MMT will call back to close the deal. (screencap)
Games: provided by NDS. The content will be refreshed on a regular basis.
Worldspace: 10 Wordspace radio channels are available for free. (screencap)

The deals are essentially on revenue share. As far as the customer is concerned, depending on the package he opts for, he’ll get access to an application.

What’s interesting is that there’s a section called “Airtel Live”, like in case of the mobile WAP deck. Some of the services on offer on Airtel Live are free, while others are paid. As far as services are concerned, Airtel appears to be taking the mobile approach to DTH, where they will provide TV channels, and then bundle in other services that users can subscribe pay for.

More on IPTV and Airtels strategy, and slides from their presentation:

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DTH And IPTV
DTH, though, has its limitations because of the hardware and the bandwidth – the games are from the early 90s, and there is no return path like in case of IPTV. So why did Airtel decide to go with both DTH and IPTV? IPTV plans are still on, but their outlook on IPTV is significantly different. Bindal agreed that IPTV offers far greater opportunities for value added services, but is confined to the broadband network. Airtel will target a different market segment – smaller, niche and affluent with using IPTV and DTH will be a mass play.

What’s interesting is that there’s a section called “Airtel Live”, like in case of the mobile WAP deck. Some of the services on offer on Airtel Live are free, while others are paid. As far as services are concerned, Airtel appears to be taking the mobile approach to DTH, where they will provide TV channels, and then bundle in other services that users can subscribe pay for.

Targets, ARPU

Currently, there are 7 million DTH subscribers in the country, and but Airtel is targeting the 220 million households that haven’t yet subscribed. Rather sardonically, Kohli said that the existing players have done a great job in educating customers in India, and hence effectively creating a market for them. Airtel estimates that India will have 40 million DTH subscribers by the end of 2017. Kohli made a very interesting point, that globally, in the DTH space, ARPUs have actually been increasing, unlike in telecom, where they’ve been declining.

Some slides from the presentation:
Opportunity , Growth Projections, Market Situation, Launch Plan, Consumer Needs, iTV Apps, Entry Offer, Tariff Plans

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