KOLKATA: West Bengal multisystem operator, Advance Multisystem Broadband Communication (AMBC), which began its journey with a set of LCOs and isolated cable operators from Hooghly District in February 2000, is looking at expanding its footprint from the current around 4 lakh to 5 lakh cable TV homes by December this year.
What’s more? According to AMBC managing director Sujit Das, the MSO plans to bring at least 1,000 LCOs within its fold from the present over 450 LCOs affiliated to it.
Das informed that AMBC enjoys more than 1.56 lakh digital connections in the Kolkata Municipal Area (KMA) in DAS regions where it has seeded set top boxes (STBs) including Hooghly, Howrah, Nadia, Salt Lake and North 24 Parganas among others. The Rs 180 monthly subscription pack is quite popular with customers among these 1.56 cable TV homes, he said.
The company has one digital headend catering to the KMA and three analogue headends, of which the ones at Arambag and Birbhum will be converted into digital ones with the implementation of DAS in analogue areas. “We have earmarked Rs 5 crore for converting the analogue headends into digital ones,” Das informed, adding that the MSO has 2.5 lakh analogue cable TV connections in locations such as Burdwan, Birbhum and parts of Bankura.
Asked to comment on phases 3 and 4 of DAS, Das said the locations where the company has an analogue presence happen to be price-sensitive with the monthly subscription fees around Rs 100 to Rs 110. “Keeping in mind the price sensitive market, we might do various permutations and combinations while providing the channel package to consumers in DAS 4 areas,” he added.
In Das’ words, AMBC is the first private limited company in the cable TV industry built with cable ops only and still run by a professional management team. The MSO works with the best channel sequence, which is reviewed from time to time depending on feedback from the ground.
On the subject of the tiff between MSOs and LCOs over the revenue share model agreement, Das said the company always tries to protect all its franchisee operators from the hazards of the cable industry. On a concluding note, he said AMBC is ready with CAS, STB and SMS to meet future requirements of the industry.