MTNL Launches India’s first IPTV in Mumbai

Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) rolled out the country`s first IPTV service in Mumbai on Saturday and in Delhi on October 17. This will be the first IPTV deployment in India.

MTNL has entered into a tie-up with city-based IOL Broadband Ltd for the service, which would be available at Rs 199 per month.

As a first step, 25 channels will be provided which will go up to 200-250 at a later stage. Initially the service will be offered to the existing 2.2 million MTNL broadband subscribers in Mumbai.

MTNL would be providing the infrastructure, while IOL Boradband the content delivery network.

IPTV describes a system where a digital television service is delivered using the Internet Protocol over a network infrastructure, which may include delivery by a broadband connection. For residential users, IPTV is often provided in conjunction with Video on Demand and may be bundled with Internet services such as Web access and VoIP. The commercial bundling of IPTV, VoIP and Internet access is referred to as a Triple Play. The technology is being touted as the next big thing in broadband and is becoming popular in other countries.

A number of other operators, including Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Reliance Communication are planning to launch IPTV in a big way.

Source: Hindu


How does IPTV work?

IPTV uses a two-way digital broadcast signal, sent through a switched telephone or cable network by way of a broadband connection and a set top box programmed with software much like a cable or DSS box that can handle viewer requests to access many available media sources.

The viewer’s TV connects to a set top box that decodes the IP video and converts it into standard television signals. IPTV allows operators to deliver content to their subscribers using telephone lines through IP technology. So far, this technology was being used to deliver voice through Internet telephony. The services on IPTV include video-on-demand and digital video recording.

TV over telephone line is slated to be the next big application for telecom service providers. Even mobile operators are looking at technologies like the FLO and EVDO to broadcast live TV on cellular phones. It is predicted that by 2008, 20 million homes worldwide will subscribe to IPTV services.

FAQ on MTNL IPTV Service (from MTNL Mumbai website)

What is IPTV service

TV service which is delivered using IP (Internet Protocol) technology – this is the same technology which is used in Internet Services . In this service the TV channels are encoded in IP format and delivered to TV through a Set Top Box. The IP TV Service also includes Video on Demand Service which is similar to watching Video CDs / DVDs using a VCD/DVD player. Movies, Instructional Videos and other content shall be available to customers in the IP TV Services.

How this service functions:

The three main components in delivering this service are:

TV and Content Head End – where the TV channels are received and encoded. Also other content (Video’s) are stored at Head End. MTNL has signed agreement for this with M/s IOL.

Delivery network – which is MTNL’s Broadband network and MTNL’s telephone line. (Landline).

Set Top Box – The Set Top Box is required at the customer location for converting the IP signal back to TV signal. The STB shall be connected between MTNL Broadband Modem and customer’s TV.

Who shall be providing the Set Top Box:

The STB shall be provided by M/s IOL.

What are the tariffs for the service:

Tariffs shall be announced shortly.

Any pre-requisites for IPTV Service:

MTNL Landline telephone with Broadband connectivity is required for these services.

What services shall be available:

Bouquet of TV channels and Video on Demand services shall be available initially during trials. Other services / content shall be introduced progressively.

Whether customer shall be able to use normal telephone and internet service along with IP TV Service:

Yes, all the three services can work together:

– Normal Telephone service

– Broadband Internet service

– IPTV service

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