THE three services that MTNL takes credit for introducing in India are Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), 3G technology, and Triband ADSL+ broadband Internet connection. It claims that these services will revolutionise the communications market in India. IPTV delivers television programmes to households through a broadband connection using Internet protocols. It requires an IPTV set-top box and offers key advantages over the existing TV cable and satellite technologies. IPTV is typically bundled with other services such as Video on Demand (VOD), Voice over Internet Telephony or digital phone, and Web access, collectively referred to as Triple Play.
One of the advantages of IPTV is the ability of the digital video recorders (DVRs) to record multiple broadcasts. It will also help the user find their favourite programmes through custom view guides. IPTV even allows picture-in-picture viewing for channel surfing without the need for multiple tuners.
IPTV viewers will have full control over the functionality, such as rewind, fast-forward and pause. Using a cell phone or PDA, a subscriber can even use remote programming for IPTV. However, the real advantage of IPTV is that it uses Internet protocols to provide two-way communication for interactive television. One application might be in game shows, in which the studio audience is asked to participate by helping a contestant choose answers. IPTV opens the door to real-time participation from people watching at home. Another application would be the ability to turn on multiple angles of an event, such as a touchdown, and watch it from dual angles simultaneously using picture-in-picture viewing.
One can also receive Web service notifications while watching IPTV for incoming email and instant messages. If your IPTV is packaged with digital phone, the caller identity will pop up on the screen. At present, the IPTV customer base has exceeded 10,000 but is likely to increase once the concept catches on.
The broadband service is provided on the existing copper infrastructure through the deployment of ADSL 2+ (asymmetric digital subscriber line) technology, a digital subscriber line that is capable of data downloads up to 8 mbps. The service is provided to enhance the efficiency of multicasting, videoconferencing, VOD and broadcast application.
ADSL 2+ extends the capability of basic ADSL by doubling the number of downstream bits. This could make Internet access much more user-friendly.
Third generation (3G) systems promise faster communication services, including voice, fax and Internet, anytime and anywhere with seamless global roaming. 3G has opened the way for innovative applications and services such as multimedia entertainment, uninterrupted video streaming, infotainment and location-based services.
MTNL has already planned for a 3G network capacity of 0.25 million lines each in Delhi and Mumbai in 2008-09.A Correspondent