Digicable in $83 mn outsourcing deal with IBM for Vas push

NEW DELHI: In a significant move towards offering value-added services, Mumbai-based multi-system operator (MSO) Digicable has entered into a 10-year strategic outsourcing agreement with IBM at an initial outlay of Rs 3.8 billion ( $83 million).

IBM will support the integration of Digicable‘s digital media content delivery and Vas such as video-on-demand, interactive TV, Internet services on TV and gaming and telephony.

"We will roll out the services within four months. The set-top boxes (STBs) can also enable us to offer DVR services at a much lower cost than DTH," said Digicable MD and CEO Jagjit Singh Kohli.

Digicable will be sourcing the STBs from Indieon Technologies, a Pune-based digital multimedia products and content delivery solutions provider. The company manufactures hybrid STBs for cable and IPTV-based delivery medium. It has integrated PVR over USB 2.0 interface.
"The STBs will start from Rs 2500 upwards," says Kohli.

Digicable will offer Cable Radio with around 50 channels and costing around Rs 700 to Rs 1,000, next-generation VoD , Internet over TV, online interactive 3D gaming, and High Definition TV.
At a later stage, Kohli hopes to introduce ‘Third Screen,‘ an extension of the system to the mobile screen or even the remote. 
IBM Director (Solutions and Business Development India/South Asia) KS Raghunandan said it had chosen to tie up with Digicable because of its media expertise. He said media and entertainment was growing at a rapid pace in India and would help IBM to grow. Though the present agreement was with an outlay of Rs 3.8 billion, this may go up if the system achieved success.
With a strong focus across all segments of the media and entertainment industry, he said IBM had the deep business insights and technology know-how to help Digicable solve complex business problems and build a more intelligent enterprise by accelerating the transformation of their business.

As part of the agreement, IBM will provide IT infrastructure services, network support, application maintenance services and security services. IBM will leverage its strength in hardware and software solutions - to assess and help optimize operations for Central/Remote Head Ends and physical/digital assets. IBM will also implement and manage core applications and services, including B2B/B2C and employee Portals, voucher and credit management systems, EBPP (Electronic Bill Presentation & Payment), Intellectual Property Management (IPM) and ERP.

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