GTPL Hathway to reintroduce Giga HD service in Q1 FY20

MUMBAI: Cable TV and broadband service provider GTPL Hathway will reintroduce its cable TV and broadband bundled service GTPL Giga HD in Q1 FY20. The company has stopped the Giga HD service for two months due to the implementation of the tariff order.

Giga HD is a first-of-its-kind product which combines broadband and cable services under one package.

“Once all the choices have been made and we will come to know about packages which are selling in the market, we will combine that with our broadband product and again start the Giga HD. It will be reintroduced in Q1 of next year,” GTPL Hathway business head video business and chief strategy officer Piyush Pankaj told analysts during Q3 earnings conference call.

Pankaj also said that the company’s average revenue per user (ARPU) during Q3 FY19 took a hit due to competition from telecom operators. GTPL Hathway has a total home pass of 2.15 million of which 1 million homes are in GPON and around 1.15 million is still on the lower speed broadband.

During Q3 FY19, the company’s broadband average ARPU came down from Rs. 450 to Rs. 430. Due to the ARPU drop, the broadband revenue remained muted despite the addition of 11,000 new subscribers in this quarter.

“We are also providing 5 Mbps, 10 Mbps, 15 Mbps service in the market and there the competition is very high from the wireless side and the rates are really low right now and to retain the customers we have to give discounts and the schemes and all those things is pulling down overall ARPU,” Pankaj said.

For GPON, ARPU from 100 Mbps and 40 Mbps subscribers is Rs 550. For other customers, the ARPU is somewhere between Rs. 250 to Rs. 300. The average ARPU is Rs. 430. He also said that 1 million out of a total of 2.15 million home pass have been migrated to the GPON technology.

GTPL Hathway MD Anirudhsinh Jadeja said that the company has to offer bundled product and convert rest of its home pass to GPON to grow the ARPU.

“We have to start our bundled product to bring the customers at that level and retain the customers at that level plus as the time permits we have to convert our rest of the market in GPON where you can provide 40 Mbps, 100 Mbps and more than 100 Mbps in the market, so that you can maintain and increase your ARPU plus you have to provide the bundled product in the market, So that you can give more services to the customer and take more money out of that,” Jadeja stated.

GTPL Hathway also said that only 15% of its cable TV subscribers have selected their own packaging while almost 85% of the customers have chosen the distribution platform operator (DPO) package. Till 13th February, GTPL Hathway had migrated 28-30% of its customers to the new tariff regime.

“Nearly 85% customers have selected our suggested pack and only 15% customers have chosen packs according to their choice and they have selected either a la carte bouquet – either a la carte pay channels or FTA. As of date, 28% to 30% of GTPL’s subscriber migrated,” Jadeja added.

Pankaj said that the new tariff order will settle down by March and things will become clear by the first week of March. “Roll-out will happen and somewhere in the first week of March, things will get clear on placement side. but if you ask about MSO on the base terms of subscription revenue and pay channel cost, we are going to improve our margin.”

He also said that the content cost will become a pass through. “In accounting term, subscription revenue and pay channel are going to increase and overall placement is going to come down a bit, but overall impact going to be positive at a margin level for MSOs.”

The total capex for the Q3 was Rs. 36 crore out of which Rs. 26 crore was spent in cable TV and Rs. 10 crore is in the broadband. For nine months, the total is Rs. 121 crore was spent during the year. “We are still maintaining our guidance of Rs 150 Crores to Rs. 160 Crores of capex. Around Rs. 55 crore to Rs. 60 crore will be in the broadband rest in cable TV.”