SeaChange to offer advanced IPTV services to MTNL, BSNL

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | April 08, 2009
The software provider has already started testing its advanced services on IPTV

SeaChange, the USA based company which provides software and services to MTNL and BSNL for their IPTV services, will soon launch advanced services on the platforms.

SeaChange began offering its services on the Smart Digivision based MyWay IPTV of the state telecom operators in late 2008. This includes TV Navigator, electronic programme guide (EPG) and video on demand (VOD).

The services that the company plans to launch are pause live TV, integrated e-mail, live e-mail chat, news ticker and railway information. It will also create an on-demand library of DVDs, music and games.

& #BANNER1 & #SeaChange is already testing these services and will launch them soon. It expects that the real pace in IPTV will pick up when subscribers reach a tipping point of three million.

In an e-mail interview, Lincoln Owens, director, broadband sales, Asia Pacific, SeaChange International, says, "Market data indicates that we are at least two or more years away from that number. However, our customers (MTNL and BSNL) are planning ways to be able to aggressively roll out their services and quickly achieve their goals. As has been witnessed before in the mobile market in India, growth is hard to predict and can be explosive."

Elaborating on the potential of these value added services, Owens says, "We realised early in the game that the way to increase penetration and increase revenue streams would be through the VAS services. Our customers have tried to address those services that will provide an immediate benefit to the common man. Today, with India's PC penetration being less than 5 per cent, the only way to effectively provide these services is through the television.

"Added to the existing TV services, the value added broadband-centric services offer more than the other competitors from DTH and Cable can provide. The potential is massive and most dependant on the extensive rollout of broadband IP infrastructure throughout India," he says.

Owens is particularly optimistic about a tie up with Indian Railways, through which a subscriber can check his PNR status and get information on train schedules and routes. "MTNL and BSNL are also working with ICICI Bank as their payment gateway and in the next phase, one can complete transactions online," he adds.

SeaChange also has a range of advertising solutions on IPTV and VOD for its customers. These include linear ad insertion and ad insertion in VOD and games. Currently, the company inserts five million ads in more than 50,000 channels on digital cable and IPTV.