Saturday 11 May 2013

RIL 4G may change TV landscape

RIL will offer live TV service using 4G LTE network, it is expected to make the service cheaper, offer much more interactivity and make it available across Mobile, TV, and PC.

RIL's subsidiary, Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL) has already announced that it will offer live TV service through its 4G network and with such high speed network in place with ample bandwidth available it has the potential to change the TV landscape apart from affecting the whole broadband space.

RJIL had announced in January 2012 itself that it has signed a deal with Network 18 group with preferential access to content of 25 channel for its live TV service. However the deal was not just about that it also included web content and other digital contents.
Apart from that Reliance has been working on its content strategy for more than a year and it has already said that it will offer a lot of content and services including education, healthcare, security, financial services, government-citizen interfaces and entertainment.

And though these services will be part of broadband services more the TV service, there is likely to be a lot synergy and many of these services like education will be offered as content on the TV service also.

Pricing Advantage

What will however change the landscape is, RJIL'ss ability to price the service at really affordable rates as it will not have to pay huge amount of satellite rights the way DTH services has to pay for providing live TV services. In 2012, DTH players paid more than 600 crore to ISRO for satellite use and roughly 200 crore to foreign satellite vendors. This is one cost RIL will not have to bother.

According to our calculation 150 channel bouquet on a DTH service costs anything between Rs 250 to Rs 350. If RJIL wants it can offer the same for less than Rs 150.
It also has ample bandwidth of 20MHz which will be sufficient for it to offer all sorts of services without fear of congestion in the network. And finally because the spectrum that it has bought has come cheaper than 3G spectrum and will be primarily used for offering broadband service.

Technology advantage
since RJIL is IP technology it can even offer time shift TV, shopping, on demand videos etc, services just like IPTV service.

RJIL can revive the IPTV technology which has not been able to grow till now due to lack of wired broadband networks and only one player 'Airtel' being a sizeable player.
With wireless technology the roll-out will not be an issue and though it can't match the coverage of DTH (which is available even in a Jungle) it definitely will be much more scalable compared to wired network.

The other very important benefit is that this service can be availed not just on TV but any internet connected device like smartphone, tablets, laptops and smart TVs (even without settop box).

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