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Reliance ready with DTH services

Reliance Communication announces the road map for launching competitively priced DTH services, under the brand name, Big TV DTH.

india Updated: May 18, 2008 14:05 IST

TV viewers fed up with bad signal reception are set to get more choice, with Anil Ambani group company Reliance Communication on Sunday announcing the road map for launching competitively priced Direct-To-Home (DTH) services across 4,000 towns in the next few weeks.

The company has already completed trial runs across 2,400 towns and the service, under the brand name, Big TV DTH. The service is currently available for customers of other DTH operators for just Rs 1,000, compared to nearly Rs 4,000 being charged by existing DTH operators.

The company claims that as of April this year, it had a subscriber base of 40,000.

Reliance, however, is offering the service at a monthly price of Rs 325, which includes Rs 100 worth free "pay per view" content, and is hoping to make a dent in the customer base of existing operators with aggressive pricing strategies.

Asked about the commercial launch of services, a company spokesperson declined to comment and give any specific date for starting Big TV DTH, but said: "The DTH offering under the Big TV brand would be launched during the course of coming few weeks."

Company sources said that Reliance is deploying the state-of-the-art MPEG4 technology compared to MPEG2 technology used by Tata Sky, Dish TV and DD Direct. This would enable Big TV to offer over 240 channels versus the 160 channels that can be offered on MPEG2 Platform.

In a scenario where a broadcaster has to offer equal terms to all DTH operators, Reliance's capability of carrying 33 per cent more channels would lend it a strategic edge.