Airtel awaiting TRAI's recommendations before launching IPTV

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New Delhi, Sept 26 (UNI) Bharti Airtel today said it was awaiting TRAI's recommendation paper which will look to bring clarity as to who could provide Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) before it launches its own services in the country.

''We are waiting for TRAI's recommendations to come in before launching the service. We will launch the IPTV service in the NCR region, and depending on the response, expand it to other areas,'' Bharti Airtel General Manager (IPTV) Puneet Garg told UNI.

The company had tied up with networking services provider UT Starcom Inc earlier this month for providing various value-added services to its customers.

TRAI felt that in-depth analysis was required to address the issues related to provision of IPTV services, among which was that the technological requirement of IPTV services to deliver content through a set top box (STB) might lead to non-compliance of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, in reference to delivery of free-to-air channels without needing an addressable system.

The company has also received license for providing DTH services in the country. ''The timing of the launch is not expected to clash but everything will depend on the regulations coming in, which are expected to clear out the confusions surrounding IPTV norms in India,'' Mr Garg said.

The main focus will remain on the value-added services and interactivity as the company will bring in features like ticket booking, Video-on-Demand and content as per customer demands.

Bharti Airtel has also put in place a strong marketing plan for both DTH and IPTV services. ''DTH is for the masses, while IPTV will be for a selected class.'' Mr Garg also said the company will strengthen its fixed line network in the NCR region, but refused to quote any figures.

UNI

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