In what appears to be a change in the trend of cable TV, broadband and phone connections being offered by different service providers, the city has now telecom and entertainment majors launching triple play services, that too at an economic price.
Triple play service is the package of broadband Internet and television, and telephone services that can be availed of through a single broadband connection.
The Reliance is offering IP-based TV channel services, while the Essel Group is said to be toying with the idea of launching non-IP based triple play services.
It all began when the AP Fibrenet was launched with a lot of fanfare during the Telugu Desam Party regime, with the promise of providing cable TV, broadband and telephone services on a single platform at a nominal price.
However, the project hit a roadblock after providing connections in certain pockets of the city.
Meanwhile, Jio Fibre launched its services on September 5 last year, offering broadband and phone connections free of cost for three months.
It extended the offer in December last.
It offered several packages such as bronze, silver, gold, diamond and platinum at monthly tariffs starting from ₹699.
The public sector telecom major BSNL too launched triple play services recently, in association with the local cable channel SDV. It utilises the optical fibre cable of SDV to provide the three services.
“The AP Fibrenet has about 10 lakh connections in the State, of which more than 1.20 lakh are in Visakhapatnam district. Jio Fibre has around 3,000 connections,” Pakki Divakar, State president of Seemandhra Cable TV Operators’ Welfare Association told The Hindu .
“The subscribers of triple play service need to pay around ₹250 a month for availing of the three services as against ₹800 or more if they subscribe for the same independently,” explains Mr. Divakar.
AP Fibregrid is not in a position to give new connections and cable TV services due to non-release of optic fibre terminator (OLT) by the government.
“AP Fibernet has one lakh connections in Visakhapatnam district. It has a separate exchange on Andhra University campus. At ₹235 a month, we are offering all three services,” says N. Ramakrishna, Vizag City MSO.
‘All three are available on a single platform at around ₹250 a month’