In a big announcement in Mumbai, IndusInd Media & Communications Ltd (“IMCL”) has announced a large bouquet of initiatives across television, digital and broadband.
Consider: More than 700 television channels in SD and HD, 40 radio stations, a new series of next-generation Set Top Boxes (STBs) for different consumer needs across price points from basic SD and HD zappers and entry-level HD Bybrid to Advanced Hybrid and 4K Android and OTT devices, 22 premium ad-free channels in SD and HD launched under the “NXT Services” brand in partnership with One Take Media & Shemaroo Entertainment, Dedicated channels for Mumbai city events “live” – sports, art, culture and religious ceremonies, a launch plan for mobile “on-the-go” service exclusively for existing InDigital customers. Along with this big kicker: group company ONE Fiber to enable InDigital offers up to 1Gbps fibre-to-the-home connectivity. With this slew of initiatives, InDigital Mumbai is now – by offering – India’s biggest digital distribution platform.
InDigital has also announced special offers for its customers to upgrade to next-generation STBs and services, including high-speed internet, and it will expand the television and broadband combo-offerings to other cities in the next 4 weeks.
What augurs well for the channel expansion is it has been facilitated by innovative technology, and the bouquet expansion has been designed by InDigital which, founded as it was in Mumbai more than 20 years ago, knows the pulse of Mumbai viewers.
All this under IMCL’s “I Am Mumbai, I Am InDigital” platform, which, a company statement said signals ‘the next era in digital broadcasting & communications’. True, that. And equally true is that it will give the competition a much sharper edge and spark a great deal of consumer interest.
Along with NXT Digital (HITS service) and ONE Fiber – IMCL remains the only integrated digital distribution platform in the country, connecting customers through digital cable, satellite and broadband. It is a formula for success, which in turn primarily depends upon IMCL’s ability to swing into action and make available the upgrades and newbies existing consumers ask for. Remember, these are C&S and Broadband consumers of Mumbai, amongst whom one can well expect a higher proclivity to impulse-buy decisions.
MCL has a good footprint in Mumbai, and the longer Jio delays its Giga Fiber launch, the bigger a broadband broadside InDigital can launch in the city. I’ve registered and re-registered several times asking Jio to get Giga Fiber to my home, but word is they’re nowhere near ready enough to get to my home, which is in an OK Mumbai suburb. So, turnaround will be the single most important aspect for InDigital.
The battle lines are drawn indeed. And with InDigital coming out with an Android plus 4K STB that can offer OTT platform from India’s biggest, Hotstar, and Netflix and their ilk, the advantage the DTH that had signed up with a Netflix has remained, well, temporary.
To stay with NXT Digital for a bit, it was indeed unfortunate that after NXT Digital was launched to really enable the last mile cable operator to keep his or her business in the face of stringent for-quality standards, the several industry bodies and parties started filing suits to delay the implementation of DAS rollout in its Phase III and IV markets, because NXT Digital, to my mind, was – and remains – the best platform on quality and business sense for consumer satisfaction and small cable operators respectively. In fact, two years ago, I had written a piece on why I thought a HITS platform like NXT Digital would win the battle in the DAS III and IV markets. Check out the story here.
As part of the future of an integrated digital experience, ONE Fiber, a Hinduja Group company also showcased its OTT box – to complement the digital cable offerings. ONEOTT iNTERTAINMENT LTD (OIL) is the Hinduja Group’s foray into Telecom and Internet Services. OIL’s vision is to transform the lives of customers by enabling them with an always-on-high-speed-internet-access for their ON-DEMAND-Entertainment – iNTERTAINMENT.
The premium content under the “NXT Services” brand is available not only to InDigital customers, but also NXT Digital customers across India. From Rhymes, Cartoons & Movies for Kids; to dubbed movies in regional languages, cooking and music – the bouquet has it all.
InDigital has also presented the latest series of next-generation STBs to suit every consumer requirement at every price-point – from basic SD & HD zappers and entry-level HD Hybrid to Advanced Hybrid and 4K Android and OTT devices. The unique Basic HD Hybrid is a cost-effective entry-level hybrid STB for customers who want to experience the power of internet content and digital cable – at an affordable price-point.
Vynsley Fernandes, CEO, IMCL, says, “Along with NXT Digital and ONE Fiber – IMCL is the only integrated digital distribution platform in the country, connecting customers through digital cable, satellite and broadband.
“Coupled with next-generation devices and expansive content, we believe that our customers will get access to a world class 3600 digital entertainment experience. We also strongly believe that the success and growth of our platforms can only be possible through a strong ecosystem, of which our Business Partners & Last Mile Owners continue to remain integral part.”
Yugal K Sharma, CEO of OIL, pointed out that “OIL delivers High-Speed-Internet to its consumers over a robust-high-performance “ONE FIBER” grid – with speeds up to 1Gbps. The ONE service has already rolled out in key cities including Mumbai and a new city is being added virtually every other day. OIL has also entered into strategic tie-ups with OTT content platforms – and coupled with the InDigital services; the joint offerings will be formidable.”
N K Rouse, Business Head at IMCL, added that “in the fast-changing digital distribution environment – especially in a key metropolitan city like Mumbai, our partners and our LMOs need to not just keep pace with change, but embrace the digital opportunities, whilst continuing to own their network. The “I Am Mumbai, I Am InDigital” initiative helps them offer a consolidated cable plus broadband plus bouquet package to their customers – all at a competitive price.”