PUNE: Wire and Wireless India Limited (WWIL), now a restructured arm of Zee Network, is getting ready to dot Indian C&S (Cable & Satellite) landscape with triple plays services through a single Set Top Box (STB) and claims to be the only company so far for a digital cable licence in India.
“Our STBs would be of three types and thus capable of offering triple play that would mean Video, Voice and Data together. These would range from plain STBs to RF & IP STBs and even RF cum IP cum VOIP ones that would take digital telephony and interactivity to bigger and more real-time levels. We have also got the first HITS (Headend In The Sky) licence for rolling out digital cable in India. The infrastructure is in place and we would roll out our services in Januray or February after clearnces are done,” Jagjeet Singh Kohli, CEO, WWIL, informed a press conference here.
The company has unveiled its digital video, data and voice broadcasting system in Pune after Mumbai and Delhi. This would entail high-speed broadband Internet, VOD (Video On Demand), PPV (Pay Per View), EPG (Electronic Programming Guide), VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol).
These offerings are touted to unleash the vast and untapped capabilities in the typical nature of cable layout in India. “In our cables RF is capable of 4GBPS (Giga Byte Per Second) while ethernet is capable of 100 MBPS (Mega Byte Per Second) thus enabling gretaer bandwidth and video downloads,” said Kohli.
Sourcing these VAS (Value Added Service) STBs is not a major concern area but components and chips are a big hurdle. While the demand of these boxes is pegged at around 9.6 million in the next five years, the company has its pipeline ready. “Till now we were sourcing STBs from TVS in Chennai and have placed significant orders for two lakh with BHEL too. The assembly will ultimately be moved out of India and Korea has already started supplying STBs.” added Kohli. For the VoiP technology, WWIL has Broadband Pacenet as a vendor.
Kohli estimates the HITS market to be worth $4 billion today and $10 billion five years hence, and hopes to corner a major chunk of the same soon. The company currently has 35 cities under its umbrella and it aims to cover 45 cities by the end of this year and 66 cities, in total, in the next three years.