BSNL announces new TV channels and OTT services through OFC

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has announced to be offering television channels from its Optic Fibre Cable (OFC) network direct-to-home as well as Over The Top (OTT) services like Amazon and Hotstar, very soon. The TV channels and OTT services will  launch across the nation on 22 January beginning in Hyderabad. Commenting on this launch, BSNL director – CFA (Consumer Fixed Access) Vivek Banzal said on 16 January, Thursday, “We have an extensive 8.5 lakh kilometre OFC network nationwide, with about 20,000 km in Telangana alone, offering high speed internet. We have just concluded discussions with our private partners and the one in TS is strong enough for us to begin operations. The service will be taken throughout the country and we expect to have four million customers. The price tag for the BSNL offer of television channels and internet streaming service has not yet been decided but, it will be competitive as it would be pitted against the established players in the satellite dish and related markets. The telecom player has sufficient infrastructure strength to provide high speed broadband services and TV channels will be offered to all customers,” he said. Besides this big announcement, another important announcement made by the director is that BSNL is ready to roll out 4G services in the twin cities from April 2020. “We already have the technology for offering 4G services and we are upgrading our equipment and software update is on. Once the spectrum is allocated, we can roll out the services. We have more products in the offing to make ‘Smart Homes’,” he noted. It was also decided to provide 10 per cent of the rural and urban areas in TS with high speed broadband connectivity offering all kinds of services – telephony, TV channels, OTT, and so on by the year end on a priority. Telangana Telecom circle chief general manager V. Sundar stated that 4G services have been commissioned in 46 stations covering 20 district headquarters with another 101 to be commissioned within a month. About 23 sites in Hyderabad too are offering 4G services on an experimental basis and the entire city is to be covered in a few months. The number of 3G sites too has been increased to 2,457 and remaining are to be commissioned in a month. Sundar also informed that there is a huge potential for BharatFibre business with ₹730 crore per annum and there is an opportunity for 200 new partners with at least 10% opting for such services. About 100 BSNL partners participated, where live demonstration of optical equipment and customer gadgets were showcased. Banzal also held a meeting with the Bharat Fibre partners and explained about the ‘Digital Gram Sevak’ programme, where 200 Mbps high speed broadband is being provided in rural areas as part of the ‘Digital India’ mission.