PTCL launched its multiple times delayed, long awaited IPTV project with the brand name ‘PTCL SMART TV’, around 2 years ago. PTCL’s IPTV is largely considered as milestone in achieving the next generation technology for broadcasting TV channels over IP i.e. Internet Protocol on high streams.
In the start, PTCL offered IPTV services on fibre, off course due to bandwidth fluctuations on the copper and later on it is also been offered on copper as well.
As per (un-firmed) internal reports, PTCL Smart TV has around 11,000 customers – as of now.
PTCL SMART TV is equipped with 125 channels covering religious, news, infotainment, entertainment, sports, music, movies, some regional and non-regional channels with digital video broadcasting. Out of 125, most of the channels are covering local Pakistani channels – almost in every category.
While watching TV, you will definitely feel the difference among usual cable broadcast and PTCL SMART TV broadcast.
In a complete SMART TV Package, PTCL gives IPTV STB (SET TOP BOX), XDSL MODEM, remote control and manuals. It costs Rs.500 / month for STB as an installment, however full payment facility of Rs.10000/- is also available for one-time payment of IPTV STB.
Additionally, per month charges of Rs.300 are also deducted in usual PTCL phone bill – this is rental for IPTV services.
If we sum up the charges of DSL and SMART TV, then every single user who is facilitated with PTCL DSL and PTCL SMART TV has to pay Rs.2000/ month (fixed amount) for DSL and SMART TV only. (Rs. 1,200 for DSL, Rs. 300 for monthly rental of IPTV services and Rs. 500 for installation of STB)
In case you have paid Rs. 10,000 for STB in one go, then single user has to pay only Rs.1500/- per month for both services.
Challenges from Local Cable Operators
PTCL IPTV is still growing and a lot is needed to improve in a steadiness. For instance, you just look at the cable TV market of Pakistan, recently, digital cable services have been launched and now cable TV service providers are offering 200+ channels on digital Set Top Box (STB).
The competitive price that is available to customers for using digital cable TV services is about 4500/- as an initial payment for STB and later on Rs.300 as cable TV line rent.
Indeed, it is a threat for IPTV, when talked about the number of channels and prices that are available in local cable TV market.
PTCL IPTV also needs to improve its channels’ type and base, to compete with local digital cable TV competitors, as end user will definitely analyze the benefits that a competitive market has to offer.
Additionally, PTCL IPTV had only 3 PTCL operated Movies Channels, which broadcast movies in genre of Classic, Comedy and Action/Drama. PTCL never plays newly released movies, for all the genres, however, they are ad-free unlike cable TV operators.
PTCL has indeed added value to the market by offering such services to end users., But with that content selection will multiply the value and the profits.
PTCL IPTV also enjoys the competitive edge as cable TV market is already saturated (particularly in urban areas).