Cable TV

Kolkata MSO GTPL-KCBPL applies for broadband license

KOLKATA: Kolkata-based multi-system operator (MSO) GTPL-KCBPL, which boasts of having more than five lakh set top boxes (STBs) in West Bengal, has applied for a broadband license to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB).

Since the company is looking to launch broadband services in a big way, once the permission is granted, GTPL-KCBPL is also likely to create awareness through a multi-media campaign. “We shall inform prospective customers through various activities. We will also organize BTL activities and let people know through our distribution network,” said GTPL- KCBPL managing director Bijoy Kumar Agarwal.

“We are shortly going to roll out the broadband service in Kolkata Metropolitan Area (KMA) to begin with, which will create more opportunities for our business partners and at the same time with state-of-the-art technologies, we will be bringing the best of services. In a digital addressable era, broadband and VAS (value added services) will become important differentiated offerings. We are upbeat about our penetration and growth in eastern region as our pack will be a value addition for the customers,” he said.

Agarwal also hinted that broadband will be another major revenue source as it has direct control over the customers.

An Ethernet cable carries the broadband signals between modem, router, computer, and other wired Internet-capable devices.

Cable analyst Namit Dave said that broadband and VAS, which suppressed revenue streams so far, will get a major boost as the country advances towards the complete era of digitisation of cable TV. MSOs are also rolling out packages in vast scale.

Another analyst added that broadband is a lucrative business now with less investment, which in turn promises higher revenue.

In 2005, a group of 160 cable operators in a unique manner turned themselves into shareholders and made KCBPL a successful MSO in KMA. While in 2010, KCBPL entered into a joint venture with GTPL, which has enabled this new entity to gain strong foothold in the state of West Bengal.

When asked about the company’s technology partners, Agarwal said that Cisco, Skyworth, Nagravision, Newland and Magnaquest among others are in touch with the company on a regular basis so that it can update and offer latent technology to its customers.

It may be recalled that recently reported that GTPL-KCBPL, which was offering around 22 High Definition (HD) channels until, has now increased the offering to 32 channels.

“After the rollout of digitization in KMA in the first and second phase of the digitization drive, we believe that our partners and viewers stand to benefit from more opportunities, products and value with digitization,” Agarwal concluded.

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