MTNL looks to be first with IPTV

31 Aug 2006

State-owned telco MTNL looks set to be the first to market IPTV in India, with a commercial launch of its Tri-band service slated for October, according to the Financial Express. The telco has been testing the service in Delhi for more than a year and in Mumbai since July. It will feature a bouquet of free-to-air and pay-TV channels, as well as video-on-demand. Tariffs are yet to be decided but are expected to be similar to current charges of cable TV operators, officials said.

MTNL is still seeking regulatory approval to launch IPTV, which is not currently provided for under either its basic telephony or mobile licences, but is confident of launching by October, or December at the very latest. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has not yet formulated regulations for IPTV, but the government is allowing companies holding unified access service licences (UASLs) to provide services in the interim. Because MTNL does not hold a UASL it must seek special permission to roll out services.