State owned telecom service provider MTNL has launched mobile TV services with VAS provider DigiVive, for its 2G and 3G subscribers in Mumbai and Delhi, via the mobile Internet on browsers, as well as through video calling. In addition to live tv streams from 50 channels, the service will also offer video-on-demand content, including clips from the mythological TV show Mahabharat and Hindi movies in 15 minute capsule form or mobisodes.

MTNL already offers mobile TV services with Apalya, another provider, so why have two companies with virtually the same offering? When we asked MTNL CMD, Kuldip Singh if Apalya will continue to offer mobile TV services, he replied in the affirmative, saying that more service providers means more competition.

Singh also said that the operator had an edge over other players, with its copper based DSL infrastructure, and that MTNL intends to use the infrastructure through WiFi access points, that can provide seamless connectivity, in conjunction with 3G data, for effective use of spectrum.

Digivive Plans

While the company chooses to call its Mobile TV service nextGtv, the video calling services will be known as Vmotion. The video calling is priced at Rs 30 per month, Rs 10 per week and Rs 3 per day with no video call charges and can be accessed by making a video call to the short-code 52627. There are separate plans for the Mobile Internet plans at Rs 99 per month, Rs 35 per week and Rs 8 per day, with no additional data charges.

DigiVive CEO, Bibhu Kumar told MediaNama that the company will bring the web-stream based service to smart phones by launching a native client in June; it has tied-up with Russian mobile software maker SPB.