PUSAN — India’s biggest telco, Bharti Airtel, will bow a satellite TV platform Thursday.
Airtel Digital TV will start life with 175 channels and will be available in 62 cities.
Satcaster is India’s fifth after DishTV, pubcaster Doordarshan, Tata Sky (a joint venture between the Tata conglom and News Corp.) and Reliance’s Big TV, which bowed last month.
India has 225 million TV households, most of which receive terrestrial or cable signals.
“The penetration (by satellite TV) of the market is just about 3%,” Bharti Airtel’s CEO and joint managing director Manoj Kohli said Tuesday. “This is the right time for Airtel to enter,” Kohli added.
“We believe that the Indian DTH segment offers immense growth potential going forward,” said Atul Bindal, Bharti prexy of Telemedia Services.
Company says key selling points are Airtel Digital TV’s HD-ready system; a universal remote control for both set-top box and TV; a large antenna that will perform well during the rainy season; and interactive services that range from games to shopping, travel and cinema ticketing services.