GTPL Hathway plans to launch hybrid STB

MUMBAI: Multi system operator (MSO) GTPL Hathway is planning to launch a hybrid set top (STB) which will allow customers to consume linear TV as well as on-demand content through the same device.

The hybrid STB will be on the lines of the one announced by Hathway Cable & Datacom in October. Hathway had launched Hathway Ultra Smart Hub STB on the Android TV platform.

“We are also planning to launch the same box in our market from January onwards. Work is already on for this. It will be a GTPL box, but the product is going to be the same,” GTPL Hathway chief strategy officer Piyush Pankaj told analysts during an earnings conference call.

GTPL will also roll-out its dual service GTPL Giga HD to other states. GTPL Giga HD is a dual service package which combined cable and broadband services under a single package in the price range of Rs. 499 to Rs. 799.

“GTPL Giga HD was launched in the Gujarat market. We have combined broadband and cables video services together and are giving it as a single package to the customers, and many customers are opting for that. There will be a single invoice and single payment to get both the services in a house. This is one of the unique packages we have introduced in the market,” Pankaj stated.

He further added that the company will maintain its margin of 28% in the consolidated business given the way GTPL Giga HD service has been priced. Based on savings in the network maintenance cost, and customer acquisition, the margins would be same in that way, Pankaj noted.

The company is confident of achieving the FY19 projection of 340,000-360,000 broadband subscribers. It also aims to complete the transition of its entire 1.8 million broadband home pass to GPON network.

The GPON technology has been launched in Ahmedabad, Surat, Baroda and Rajkot with plans to launch in other cities of Gujarat subsequently.

“We have already covered around 85% of the city of Ahmedabad, and around 60%-65% of the other cities. Total home passes currently stand at 1.8 million, out of which around 0.8 to 0.9 million are already under the GPON network. And going forward, within the next 6-9 months we will complete the whole 1.8 million. Every quarter, the number is increasing by 200k to 250k, and that will convert around 80% of our network into GPON,” he said.

GTPL offers broadband service in 82 cities and its plans to cover around 45 to 50 cities under the GPON Network. “We will look at small cities after completing these 45 to 50 cities,” he added.

The company has spent Rs 85 crore Capex in the first half of the fiscal. It plans to spend around Rs. 150-160 crore of capex this year. In Q1, the company spent around Rs. 45 crore, and in Q2, the same was Rs. 40 crore.

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