Technology

CastleMedia sets up Spyke for CPE and STBs repair

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MUMBAI: Here’s some good news for the DTH Operators, MSOs and LCOs who used to get their STBs repaired from the neighborhood electrical shop at the hands of untrained, unqualified electricians.

Thanks to the government’s cable TV digitisation push, the population of STBs or consumer premise equipment swelled. With close to 174 million STBs or consumer premise equipment (CPE)  of various types – digital, HD, Ultra HD, and a guesstimated failure rate of around five to eight  per cent, Mumbai headquartered Spyke Technologies (SPYKE) has stepped into the STB servicing and repair game for  distribution platforms.

Backing the new venture are broadcast technology vets Vynsley Fernandes and CEO Ru Ediriwira of CastleMedia which has worked with leading broadcast, networking & communications product manufacturers across their product lifecycle – right from R&D and field testing to improving “user experience.”

The company has set up service centers in Mumbai and New Delhi, and a countrywide faulty STB collection center network. The service centres are manned with about 30 tech engineers in Mumbai and 35 in New Delhi.  

Presuming the STB failure rate at a conservative five per cent of the digital TV ecosystem in India (although actual ground information indicates failures at around 8-10 per cent), SpykeTech aims to capture between 12 per cent to 15 per cent  of the market in the next four to five years. And, helping it get there will be the offices in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Madras, Ahmedabad and Kolkata which will come up in over the next two to three years.

The company has invested more than Rs 35 million in Spyke on  its 2500 sq foot Mumbai office located in Vile Parle and and its Delhi office being hosted over 7000 sq feet.  Spyke will be in a position  to fix at least 18,000 STBs every month in Mumbai, while the fixing  figure for Delhi stands at 25,000 a month.

The company is being positioned as India’s first technology lifecycle management platform for CPE offering a single window and end-to-end service model which includes repairing of STBs, broadband and data communication equipment, home media gateways, networking equipment and VSAT modules.

Says Spyke Technologies director Sunil Ranadey:  "There exists a demand-supply gap in the country when it comes to quality servicing of not only STBs  but all CPEs. SpykeTech aims to bridge this gap. Our cloud-based proprietary software SPYKENET, is what we believe will separate the “men from the boys” in terms of CPE repairs in the country."

"The proprietary software will empower the DTH operators/MSOs/LCOs not only with analytical tools to analyse the faults, but will provide complete transparency with logistic movement and accounting support for their CPs, something lacking in the present system,” Ranadey added.

Spyke is in its early setup stage but has already begun to have conversations with different distribution platforms. The sticker price for repairing an STB is being talked about as being between Rs 200 and  Rs 450 which is quite an attractive option for all TV viewers.  What’s unique about Spyke is its SpykeTech solutions which uses a powerful and collaborative software platform to support clients and customers across India.

“SpykeNet will be the difference between us and other repairers. The software is going to be the strong analytical tool which is applicable to all cable and DTH networks,” elaborates Ranadey.

Adds CastleMedia executive director Vynsley Fernandes: “CastleMedia has been very successful in identifying pain-points in the pay TV industry and developing solutions to address the problem. One such example was the development of a suite of mobile and on-line applications for cable TV customers to go prepaid - this was truly an innovative and pathbreaking initiative. Similarly, we see CPE management - irrespective of whether it’s STBs or other devices; continuing to impact the company bottom-lines - anywhere up to 30 per cent.  Our significant investment in setting up SpykeTech is precisely based on addressing this pan-India issue.”

Also Read :

Airtel launches hybrid DTH STB, to have 500+ channels, Netflix & YouTube preloaded

DEN to launch 4k, 'open' STBs, give a leg-up to HD, b'band services

Dish TV & ALi tie up - chipset tech vital for secure VAS, enriched viewing

9 Indian companies to manufacture STBs; iCAS cost less than $0.5: Govt

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