Reliance Communications (RCOM) has added BBC World to its VAS bouquet. Subscribers can tune into international news by dialing 51235378. Called 24×7 BBC World Service Live Radio, it is powered by Wordwide Records India; the owner of the shortcode 57080.
Target: Rural India
“Radio is a very popular medium in rural India. Through this service we wanted to offer same experience to our customers in their preferred language. Introduction of this service is part of our strategy to provide innovative services in local languages,” Krishna Durbha, Head – Business & Marketing , Value Added Services, RCOM has said.
BBC radio will be broadcast in four languages besides English, at different timings. News from BBC Hindi will be played at 6.30am, 8.00am, 7.30pm and 10.30 pm. BBC Urdu will be on at 7.00am, 8.30 pm and 11.00pm while BBC Tamil will play at 09.15am and BBC Bangla at 5.00 am, 6.00 am and 6.00pm. BBC Radio is available in 33 languages.
The service can be accessed via RWorld. Mobile Radio currently being offered by operators – one of Cellebrum’s key products – has so far focused on music. UTV also recently launched Audio Cinema. This, however, is one of the few instances of news in an audio form being made available on mobile.
But When Video Comes…
News on mobile is in the form of SMS updates by VAS firms or mobile sites owned by media houses. There are many more coming up as can be seen from the new applications developed by Indian media houses for the N97.
And, soon, it’ll be the age of video – ROK Entertainment will launch Hindi news on TinyTV for BSNL’s users. UTVi planned to launch on mobile TV through UTV@ Play, Aaj Tak is delivering video news clips to Reliance subscribers and other TV broadcasters are readying video streaming for mobiles as 3G is expected to bring greater bandwidth, whic will allow better video quality. Doordarshan is also coming on board the Mobile TV bandwagon. Reliance already has 13 TV and news content partners on board. So will the news radio service survive when face to face with video?
— Sachet VAS: RCOM’s Daily Pricing Strategy; Effect On ARPU
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— N97 Apps By Indian Media Co’s: India Today, NDTV, Rediff, CNBC-TV18; Eterno & Galatta