Television

Future belongs to the consumer: Hathway's Neeraj Bhatia

MUMBAI: The Rajan Raheja owned multi-system operator (MSO) Hathway Cable and Datacom, in which Star India holds 26 per cent equity stake, has announced that it is ready to meet the 14 July CAS deadline. The company officials reiterated their stand that "the future will belong to the consumer".

While addressing an informal press meet in Mumbai, Hathway Cable and Datacom vice-president Neeraj Bhatia said: "In time to come, the cable trade would witness many changes, including customer service and friendliness."

While speaking to indiantelevision.com, Bhatia said: "The future battles will not be about encryption technology, but will address issues such as customer-friendliness. The onus of communicating the look and feel of the future of cable television in India will rest on the cable trade."

Initially, Hathway will provide encryption on a basic system using sophisticated computer software and hardware systems provided by its partners.

"Hathway systems will be scalable and will be geared for any future upgradations. Most importantly, the system will provide security against the undesirable malice of hacking. The subscriber management systems (SMS) have to be robust because customer satisfaction will depend on it as SMS will drive billing systems and, what we call, `provisioning correct service'. Most of the cable operators will strive to ensure that invaluable customer related information (such as billing related information and `requests' aren't lost due to disruptions or crashing of the systems," Bhatia explained.

"Hathway has one million subscribers in Mumbai who are serviced through 13 control rooms. Since most of the cable operators affiliated to Hathway have "robust systems,they wouldn't have to invest much in the infrastructure to deliver the digital feed,"" Bhatia pointed out.

"We have been offering 24-hour Internet services on our cable networks and that is a testimony to our state of readiness. Of course, we shall ensure strict compliance and do periodic checks to deliver quality services. We feel that the reception of FTA channels will improve post-CAS," Bhatia said.

So, would CAS change the face of Indian cable television? Partly yes, as Bhatia felt that CAS will ensure that the Indian cable industry structure becomes more transparent.

This will be some relief because there hasn't been a single new entrant in the cable business in the last few years.

Also read:

Hathway ready to meet CAS deadline; invests Rs 120-150m per city

Cable industry would do the trick: Hathway's Neeraj Bhatia

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