Aksh Optifibre Ltd, in association with MTNL, has launched its latest offering, icontrol, in Delhi and Mumbai that claims to revolutionise TV viewing. icontrol is touted as India’s first IPTV service requiring no broadband, computer or DVD player. Aksh is investing close to $37 million in its services business on IPTV and voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) platforms.
All that the viewer requires is a television set as icontrol (with the ‘i’ standing for the ‘interactivity’ factor that is currently non-existent in TV) is aims for a strong presence in both urban and rural India, where both MTNL and BSNL have majority subscriber base.
Aksh is adopting a 360-degree approach in promoting icontrol in Delhi and Mumbai. This is being promoted through an integrated marketing campaign comprising print, radio, website and outdoor.
Commenting on the advertising initiative, Namrita Sengupta, AGM, Corporate Strategy, Aksh Optifibre Ltd, said, “A complete 360-degree initiative is being taken to create awareness about icontrol. The creative has been done by Grey Worldwide, while the media planning is being done in-house by our team. We are looking at an ad spend of Rs 4.5 crore for the next three months. The launch strategy for icontrol brand is with the tag line ‘TV is servant’, which highlights the core promise of the service to the consumer, that is, control over TV viewing.”
“After Delhi and Mumbai, we will be increasing our presence in the Northern region with BSNL, starting with Jaipur on June 30, 2008,” Sengupta added.
Dr Kailash Choudhari, MD, Aksh Optifibre, said, “The launch of icontrol comes at a time when subscribers neither have the time nor patience to wait and wish for service delivery. Through icontrol, we aim to clear all misconceptions that for viewing IPTV, broadband and PC are necessary. This would also help in achieving a wider reach within the nation. The potentials of icontrol are such that it would do to India, what PC did to the US.”
Commenting on the tariff plan for icontrol, Satyendra Gupta, CFO, Aksh Optifibre Ltd, said, “The tariff plans for icontrol in Delhi include a free set-up box with a fully refundable security deposit of Rs 999. Subscribers need to pay Rs 199 per month to avail of the icontrol service through MTNL. There is no requirement of a telephone, computer, DVD player, Internet or broadband connectivity for using icontrol.”
The icontrol brand and logo have been designed so as to enable consumers to control television, and convert the idiot box into a utility box, establishing a two-way communication for the consumer. This means, when a subscriber requests for a programme, he is delivered the same and can review the past seven days’ telecast as well. Viewers will also be able to replay Live TV channels, enabling them to watch, say, a cricket match again. For video-on-demand, the service offers over two 200 movies with options like rewind, fast-forward, and pause.