Batelco to deliver TV on mobiles
Manama, August 16, 2012
Bahrain’s telecom operator Batelco is set to launch a new online portal to deliver television channels on mobile devices in the kingdom.
The company has almost finalised a deal with major satellite television networks and discussions are underway with another Asian provider to offer a host of premium Arabic, Western and Asian channels, said its consumer division general manager Muna Al Hashimi.
The portal will be available to everyone with a broadband service, irrespective of the operator they are with.
"The set top box (STB) everyone uses receives television channels now could soon be history because this new product would offer all channels on the go without cables or any other infrastructure," said Al Hashimi.
"As a first step, we had live coverage of the immensely popular London 2012 Olympic Games with high definition quality."
Al Hashimi said the next few months would see Asian channels available on the portal.
"While we already have an agreement with key content providers like OSN, Al Jazeera and Abu Dhabi Media for our IPTV network, we are negotiating the need to extend the deal to cover Batelco Play," she said.
"This is expected to happen in the next few months. Discussions are on with India's STAR Television and could be finalised soon. This would bring a lot of popular channels to everyone with a smartphone, computer, laptop or a smart television."
Al Hashimi said Batelco also had plans to approach other Indian television giants like Zee, Sony, Sun TV and TV18, which would mean practically every Indian channel in several languages could be available to any Broadband subscriber in Bahrain.
She said Batelco Play had attracted great interest since its launch last month, when only around 30 channels were on offer.
"A lot of positive feedback has been received and we are excited at the prospect of expanding," she said.
Al Hashimi said the portal was geared up to accommodate 200 channels, but could swiftly be expanded to cover more.
"This will also enable subscribers to pay for only those channels they wish to view," she said. "Several packages are being tailored to meet specific needs of subscribers with the 'pay per view' option also available.
"This would mean customers paying a nominal amount when they wish to, say, view a channel for a short time."
Al Hashimi said Batelco Play also boasted a massive movie and video library with more than 200 well-known international and Arabic movies and popular series plus a choice of popular programmes from several leading TV channels.
"This will add an entirely new dimension to movie, TV shows and Live TV viewing, thanks to its ease of use and total convenience," she said.
"In addition to 200 movies and series and TV content, Batelco Play also includes a wide selection of latest movies on a pay-per -view basis starting from BD0.8 ($2.12) only."
Al Hashimi said as all the programme content of the new service was hosted locally, it would also use very little download threshold and described the viewing quality as "excellent" with no buffering problems.
"This is just the beginning of a whole new world in entertainment," she added. – TradeArabia News Service
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