TRAI urged to frame laws to regulate content
Telecom operators are all set to bring Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) in India in a big way even as the industry on Friday urged the telecom regulator to bring in laws to regulate the content.
IPTV technology will enable operators to offer television content using the broadband network. Major global technology providers such as Alcatel, Microsoft and Ericsson are in talks with operators to offer IPTV.
"We need regulation, a licensing policy and guidelines in place, for storing television content. Technology cannot be controlled, but regulation will bring more clarity in the market," said Mr Jagbir Singh, Chief Technology Officer, Airtel, while speaking at the IPTV India 2006 seminar organised by Bharat Exhibitions.
What is IPTV
IPTV is the next generation of convergence, which uses telephone lines to offer TV content unlike the existing system of having a separate cable for TV and phone. The service requires either a computer, software media player or an IPTV set-top box to decode the images. However, broadcasting companies have been demanding that IPTV be made part of the broadcasting licence instead of the telecom operator's licence.
IPTV can be bundled with other services such as Video on Demand, Voice over Internet Protocol or digital phone, and Web access, collectively called Triple Play.
According to surveys, by the end of this decade, 25.9 million IPTV subscribers will generate $10 billion in revenue. "This will not only change the way we watch TV but will have serious implications on business and commerce. Marketers will have to rethink strategies on engaging the customer, now that he/she can be extremely selective about what he/she wants to watch, at the time convenient," said a press release.
The one-day seminar saw participation from companies including, UT Starcom, Airtel, Siemens, Alcatel and Sun Microsystems.
Speakers included, Mr Kapil Sood, Director - Telecom, Sun Microsystems, Mr Anuj Kapur, Vice-President & Head Sales - India, Fixed Communications Group, Alcatel South Asia Ltd, and Dr D.P.S. Seth - Former Member, TRAI.