Looking for a smart TV viewing experience? You can simply switch to and switch on BroadTV.
Balvadra Adhikari, CEO
Transforming the way we watch TV, one Nepali internet service provider, Broadlink, recently launched its internet protocol (IP) based digital TV service- BroadTV. With the new digital service, subscribers can watch their favourite channels in full-HD on their TV sets or other devices including laptops, smartphones and tablet PCs.
IPTV has gained immense popularity among TV viewers across the world. Most of the digital TV service providers send television signals to their subscribers in the form in which they receive it. “But we are making the same process interactive and that is possible only through IP technology. So our focus is more on this advanced technology based service to provide a better TV viewing experience,” says BroadTV CEO Balvadra Adhikari.
CEO Adhikari further says, “Though it is an IP-based technology, the internet is not needed. It requires intranet connection from the subscriber’s home to our system.”
Cable, digital and IP are three different types of TV services all requiring separate operating licenses. According to the government’s digitisation policy, all TV service providers are required to provide digital services to their subscribers by 2017. “The future prospects of advanced technology based TV is good,” says Adhikari, adding, “The digitisation process will help the government to increase revenue as multiple TV sets require multiple connections.”
He believes the government’s digitisation initiative will also help service providers to access the market broadly. “With the expansion of the network, digital TV has significant market potential.”
USPs of BroadTV
Subscribers searching for the best TV viewing experience can simply switch on their BroadTV as the IPTV has a 24 hour auto-record facility useful for subscribers who do not want to miss their favourite shows. Also, through IP technology any TV can be turned into a smart TV. “By connecting our device to their TV sets, customers can browse the internet and make calls from TV sets. IPTV does not require a TV with smart features,” he says. “However the TVs must be able to support the device.”
The company’s promotional tagline for the new service, ‘One Box, Jindagi Rocks’, is appropriate says Adhikari, since internet browsing, TV channels and voice call facilities all come from a single set-up device. “Also, using a single account, subscribers can access TV channels from their mobiles, tablets, PCs and laptops,” he informs.
Subscribers can also use features such as rewind, pause and forward to enjoy their favourite shows nonstop. The company claims that the new service offers top-class connectivity. “The connection is not lost even in bad weather,” says Adhikari.
How Does it Work?
IP TV works by using the internet protocol suite over a packet-switched network such as a LAN or the internet. The content provider then provides the subscribed channels to the company and the company sends the channels to the subscribers.
Any internet service provider (ISP) connection or even ADSL can be used to connect BroadTV. The set-up box keeps a record of accounts, information on selected packages, subscribed channels. BroadTV is available all over the country because it can be run through any network. According to Adhikari, subscribers can watch BroadTV with any internet network.
The company is expanding its network in Lalitpur using optical fibers while it is also undertaking some TV viewing surveys. “We are distributing flyers and conducting surveys about the experience of BroadTV viewers and we have stalls to inform people about our services,” Adhikari says.
Competition and Strategies
The company focuses on improving itself rather than competing with others. “We are not competing with anyone. We are focused on enhancing our capabilities to ensure a better output in the future,” says Adhikari. The company says it has a set of objectives it wants to see through in order to enhance its performance:
1. Strengthening the quality of service
2. Expanding network (Wi-Fi or fiber) and customer base
3. Exploring new business segments such as B2B
4. Adding new products for all business segments like MyChoice, iConnect, bLink, bLink Rocket, etc.
5. Adding VAS (value added services) like BroadTV and some new ideas in the near future
6. To become the best company for employees, customers and partners
7. Diversifying its business portfolio in the long-run
The company is offering the new service in two special packages. On the occasion of its launch, subscribers can get a set-up box along with a router at Rs 4,000. The offer also includes one month free subscription with all channels. Similarly, the Rs 6,000 package includes a set-up box with all channels for a year. Regarding the pricing policy, Adhikari says, “We are very competitive. We are designing our products and packages to cover all types of segments.”
BroadTV considers the lack of skilled human resource as one of the challenges for the company. “It is hard to get proficient manpower and retain them in the organisation,” points out Adhikari. “It is difficult for us to hire top level employees and offer them big salaries. It is also hard to retain trained staff in order to increase work efficiency,” he adds. Currently, Broadlink has around a hundred employees who are also working for the BroadTV service.
The company is planning CSR activities in the near future. Like many other companies, after last year’s destructive earthquake, Broadlink provided relief materials to victims.
• Strong and diversified work force
• Not partnership based company
• Latest technology in TV service
Weakness/Areas need to Improve
• Learning to overcome challenges
• Digitisation initiative of the government
• Increase in the costs with the expansion of network as Nepal is geographically diversified country
• Upgradition of new technology
• Lack of skilled manpower