DTH or Direct to Home is getting better and better. Video on Demand, Interactive Television is slowly coming in the mainstream. DTH is slowly being propelled in the mainstream because of the potential value added services and ability to pay and use. It brings us to the stagnation of the cable TV in India; currently it still beams in analogue mode.
Reliance is planning to jump in the fray, perhaps later in this year. However, as I had mentioned earlier on, there seems to be no action on the ground. Besides giving us an ugly contraption in form of a reciever, there seems to be no aesthetics involved in designing and execution of the pay TV in India. We still have to see the maturity of choice as available elsewhere.
Spiked by lack of bandwidth and reluctance of the customers used to pay for the services, IPTV is no where in the league. Spin doctors were busy showing us the dreams of Mbps speeds which hasn’t materialised so far. MTNL had plans to introduce it on a small scale- they have pushed the “deadline” a couple of months ahead. Airtel is still grovelling in the mud and is backed by some utter nincompoops taking the decisions to roll out. In my opinion, it does cost money to lay down the lines; however, no company except BSNL can offer on demand connectivity in ALL the areas. Airtel should be aiming for that and hope to win the customers in the hinterland.
One possible way is to combine the offerings. Landlines, mobiles, Broadband and perhaps DTH can all be bundled with a single consolidated billing. The cost of the intra circle calls can be kept low. This would ensure customer “stickiness”; one potential drawback is that this could be counted as monopolised offering- restricting the choice offered to a consumer.
In my opinion, if the tariffs match with the lowest in the industry, it makes sense to ensure that a customer uses all the offerings from a single provider. It would only lower the costs of acquistion since advertisements reach a targetted audience. The success of the brand is measured by the brand recall and the trust someone would put in them. Backed by empty boasts, spin doctoring and advertising spree, Indian telecom firms are hell bent on gaining customers. Agreed. Yet the offers look plain in comparison to the possible alternatives.
I think it would be possible to sell combined offerings at much lower prices than individual products alone. Reliance’s strategy would be tailored to this effect (or so I have a reason to believe).
Let’s see how it works out for them. And us.