Star hopes to connect with cell phone users through Cellnext

MUMBAI: Cellnext Solutions Limited, an Escorts Group IT company and Star India have announced a comprehensive SMS service that will provide interactive service to television and radio shows aired on Star channels.

Offerings from the service include participation on shows/contests, astrology, song requests, bidding (for CDs of the Star promoted pop group Viva and a book on Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan). All Star channels including Star Plus, Star Movies, Star Gold, Star World have been roped in for the service. Mobile owners will now have access to entertainment applications ranging from television schedules, dedicated song requests, movie options, contests, voting and opinion polls. Also included are ring tones, logos, birthday wishes to celebrities, music messaging, cricket and horoscope, says a company release.

More value-added services are likely to follow soon. For mobile operators, this development is expected to convert into another high traffic generation platform. Says Star Group COO Sameer Nair: "With more and more TV programming turning to interactive mode, making our bouquet accessible on cell phones is one more step towards Star's concern for its discerning viewers. This technology is designed to bring viewers closer to the channel."

For viewers, this is a state-of-the-art opportunity on issues ranging from current affairs and politics to music and entertainment via SMS. Instant viewer or listener participation has not available to Indian broadcasters so far, making it difficult for television programming to actively incorporate viewer and listener opinions and preferences, the release adds. Cellnext claims to be focused on product development with an existing product portfolio of multi-component Messaging Engines, Telco Content Aggregation Platforms and Enterprise Application Integrators.

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