Cable TV

Ortel to focus on last mile; to expand in regional markets

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KOLKATA: Odisha-based multi-system operator, Ortel Communications Limited is looking at investing in expansion of its existing network as well as to new locations in the region. But it stays focused on last mile connectivity.

The cable television service provider engaged in distribution of analogue and digital cable television services, high speed broadband services and VoIP services, plans to launch various new product lines including High Definition (HD) services to its subscribers.

Our network is ready for digital services and we will have no difficulty in migrating to full Digital services believes Ortel CEO Bibhu Prasad Rath

Going forward, apart from increasing its broadband subscriber base and penetration of digital services, the company is eyeing acquisition of MSOs and LMOs for expansion.

To fund the above growth, the company is exploring various fund raising options including raising equity close to Rs 100 crore.

Most of our markets are in phase III and IV of digitisation process. We are already active and increasing our digital penetration. Our network is ready for digital services and we will have no difficulty in migrating to full Digital services,” said Ortel CEO Bibhu Prasad Rath.

It currently offers up to 215 digital channels. The channels on digital services are tiered to offer customers’ option to chose and pay for it.

The pricing of our digital services is based on a differential pricing for subscribers choosing to avail different services. Currently, the monthly subscription varies from Rs 122 to Rs 305 per month including taxes. In addition to this, we also offer various genres based packages as add on as well as channels on a-la-carte basis,” added Rath.

Ortel Communications at present has around five lakh subscribers including more than 50,000 broadband retail customers and more than 70,000 digital service users, rest being analogue service users.

“As a conscious decision, we have preferred the depth model with focus on a given geographical market, control of last mile and full retention of subscription revenue. A major part of our revenue comes from subscriptions and we are comparatively less dependent on carriage fee,” he concluded.

The business of Ortel is focused in the states of Odisha, Chhatisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. While the network is operational in 39 locations and the services are offered in 53 towns with more than 25,000 kilometers of cables, 35 analogue head ends and six digital head ends.

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