Cable TV

Siti Cable could go prepaid within three months

MUMBAI: National multi system operator (MSO) Siti Cable is looking at options of going prepaid.

While the MSO will test the viability of the model in Delhi first, it will also replicate it in other states, at a later stage. "What we have seen is that whatever we do in the Delhi market, when replicated outside, works well," says Siti Cable CEO VD Wadhwa.

The prepaid model that Siti Cable is looking at will be based on the local cable operator (LCO) depositing an advance to the MSO and then collecting the same from the consumer.  "We have given the power of managing the subscriber management system (SMS) to the LCO, so they can change packages or switch on or switch off boxes of customers who do not pay them the cable TV bill," informs Wadhwa.

The LCO according to the prepaid model will get the signals from the MSO so long as his credit balance remains. "The LCO will have to keep renewing his credit balance to get uninterrupted services, the moment his balance becomes zero, we will disconnect the signal," he says.

The LCOs through this model will have to find the defaulters and take corrective action accordingly. The key to moving prepaid is to give access of SMS to the LCOs.

Not only this, going forward the LCOs can also make the system prepaid at their end by billing the customers in advance. This will also help the LCOs find out defaulters.

While Siti Cable also has the option of recharging through their website, they have realised it upsets the LCOs. "We have to build the trust between the LCOs and MSO and let the LCO handle the customers," he opines.

Wadhwa is hopeful that the system will be in place within three months.

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