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Airtel to launch DTH tomorrow

india Updated: Oct 07, 2008 21:38 IST

Competition in DTH services intensified on Tuesday with India’s largest mobile telecom service provider Airtel announcing launch of the services from October 9. There are already five direct-to-home (DTH) players in the market — Doordarshan, Tata Sky, Dish TV, Sun and Reliance.

Airtel’s USP is that its services will work during cloudy weather and a universal remote for both the set top box and TV.

During its survey, the company found that many DTH services do not work during cloudy weather and monsoon.

“Therefore, we decided to increase size of our dish anteena by 20 per cent so that the services are not effected during rain,” said Manoj Kohli, CEO and joint managing director, Bharti Airtel. “We have also taken other technical measures to ensure good quality services during cloudy weather and rain.”

One of the biggest irritants in most of the existing services is that a customer has to use two remotes — one for TV and another for the set top box. Airtel’s universal remote would certainly be its USP over its competitors.

There are 225 million households who have TVs but there are only seven million DTH TV subscribers in the country.

Therefore, the penetration of DTH is only three per cent. The total number of cable TV in India is about 85 million.

Kohli does not believe that Airtel is late in entering the market. “We will soon be number one DTH provider in the country.”

The company will sell its DTH services through its 21,000 retail points including Airtel relationship centres in 62 cities.

Bharti Airtel is the second telecom service provider to provide DTH services, Reliance being the other one. Bharti Airtel will certainly benefit from its existing established infrastructure of telecom in DTH services.