RailTel to launch IPTV services for its ‘RailWire’ subscribers

RailTel is launching its Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) services with effect from January 26, in the Eastern region of the country
RailTel to launch IPTV services for its 'RailWire' subscribers (Representative Image)
RailTel to launch IPTV services for its 'RailWire' subscribers (Representative Image)

New Delhi: In a step towards offering significant value-added services to its customers, RailTel is launching Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) services to subscribers of its retail broadband service called 'RailWire.' IPTV is a service that provides television programming and other video content using the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) suite, as opposed to broadcast TV, cable TV or satellite signals.

According to an official statement, RailTel has partnered with a Hyderabad-based company City Online Media Private Ltd. a premier IPTV service provider across India which will provide IPTV services to RailWire customers under the "ULKA TV" brand. The company will provide access to the IPTV content on mobile with its App "ULKA Mini" & on Smart TV with the App "ULKA LITE" to RailTel Broadband users which can be downloaded from the Google play store. This IPTV service will provide latest 4K technology with HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) to deliver the best quality video in the industry.

The IPTV services are being launched with effect from January 26, in the Eastern and North Eastern region of the country which include states of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura, Manipur, and East Uttar Pradesh. The possibilities of extending IPTV services to RailTel customers in other regions will be explored later after assessing feedback, local demand, and technical logistics.

With this facility, the customers will be able to enjoy high-quality digital TV channels on RailTel's IP network along with Broadband Internet services on the same optical fibre pair. While Free to Air (FTA) channels can be viewed without a Set Top Box (STB), others channel will require the STB. The ULKA TV STB will be special intelligent device and work as sort of mini-computer. It will provide 600+ Live Satellite TV channels and local stations and popular OTT applications. This STB will provide two-way communication with TV sets to support educational applications without a laptop or computer by adding a Bluetooth keyboard. It can also provide video conference facility by simply attaching USB Camera. The IPTV services can also be viewed in non-smart TVs with the help of this STB.

RailWire broadband consumers will have the choice of portable Set-Top-Boxes (Sticks & Boxes), LAN and Wi-Fi Access for using ULKA TV services. The IPTV services shall eliminate the need for additional cable TV dish antenna or cable entry to the home. Since it is being delivered on Optical Fibre, the service shall provide higher quality viewing regardless of the cloudy weather or cable losses.  The multi-screen option TV, laptops, tablets, cell phones etc. will also become available & with this option, one can watch one's favorite shows and movies anytime and anywhere as long as one has internet access. IPTV services are smooth streaming services, cost-effective and the viewers will get facility to record their shows if they missed it by chance.

In addition, Health care, Education, Tax collection and other public utility services can be delivered to households using IPTV. The IPTV Service will be delivered from the local Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) installed in RailTel's Network Operations Centres (NOC).

Talking about it RailTel's Chairman & Managing Director (CMD) Sanjai Kumar said, "The OFC network owned by RailTel reaches to over 70 percent of the population of the country including rural areas. With its Pan India high-capacity network, RailTel is working towards creating a knowledge society at various fronts. The government of India is keen on expansion of broadband cable services across the country, especially rural areas. IPTV services under the RailWire will convert television households to internet households and open possibilities of smart services for homes. RailTel is committed to improve broadband access to interior and remote areas in the country to reduce urban-rural digital divide and further spread digital literacy and accelerate digital transformation of the country."

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