Saturday, October 13, 2007

Take the call and catch the news on move on mobile

Gangtok Oct. 12: So you're missing the 9 o'clock news on your favourite television news channel because you're on the move. Don't fret. If you have a BSNL GSM mobile handset that is GPRS enabled, simply tune in and catch the news (nearly) live on it. That too, for the first month, the service will be free. BSNL today launched its service called in the eastern region (i.e., in West Bengal, Sikkim, Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand, A&N, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Manipur, Aizawl, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland). In its tie up with video content provider, Apalya Technologies, BSNL's GSM mobile phone users will be able to access 12 channels, initially. Apalya Technologies has tied up with NDTV, AajTak, CNBC, Cartoon Netwrok, Times Now, Zoom, Bindass, ETV, TV9, MaaTV, India TV and CNN to stream their on mobile phone handsets. “The programmes will come to your phone almost live ~ that is, there will be a time lapse of four to five minutes,” said Mr Vamshi Reddy, director, Apalya Technologies. The service, however, will for the time being, be available only on some designated handsets ~ such as certain Nokia Series 60 devices and Sony Ericsson J2ME devices. Mr Reddy said they were in talks with Motorola and Samsung so that the service could be made available to these handsets as well. “In six to eight months, the service will be available on all platforms,” he said. For a month, will be free to subscribers, said Mr Rakesh Agarwal, chief general manager, BSNL West Bengal Telecom Circle. Later, you will have to pay either Rs 10 per day to watch one channels for 24 hours, Rs 50 per month to watch one channel for 30 days, or Rs 150 per month to watch all channels for 30 days. He added that there are currently 50,000 subscribers to BSNL’s GPRS service. “We expect it to go up to one lakh after the launch of this service,” Mr Agarwal said. For the new service, BSNL plans to add 800 to 900 BTS to its current 1,170 BTS in Bengal (excluding Calcutta Telephones), Mr Agarwal said. The 12 channels would be increased to 35 within this year, and is expected to go even higher in the future.