Sri Lanka Telecom, the country’s largest fixed line telephone access provider, this week has finally launched the much-awaited Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), through subsidiary company SLT VisionCom Pvt Ltd in collaboration with UT Starcom India Telecom (Pvt) Ltd. It was earlier due to be launched in mid-2008.
Speaking to The Sunday Times FT on the sidelines of the launching ceremony, CEO, SLT VisionCom Pvt Ltd, T. Weerasooriya said that this will be a transformation of television, from a standard one way system to Personalised Education and Entertainment Option, for local viewers. He added that the company will give more priority to use IPTV as a major tool of taking higher education to remote rural areas while concentrating on Entertainment as their initial option.
He said that discussions are underway with education organizations, who want to conduct virtual or online classrooms through IPTV with interactive capabilities,
He disclosed that the company plans to enrol 7,000 customers by the end of this year and 100,000 customers in three years. Mr Weerasooriya noted that SLT IPTV, one of the latest entertainment mediums in the world, offers new real time data and multimedia applications in the fields of business, education and entertainment. He said that their ultimate aim is to serve rural youth by opening up of avenues for them to further their education. A premium service, offered at a competitive price, giving greater value to the public.
There will be an enabling fee of initial services of Rs 9,950 and a monthly rental of Rs1000 for a suite of 14 international channels, with 5 local channels free of charge. SLT VisionCom will be employing a phase by phase expansion for the marketing of IPTV, starting with the Greater Colombo area, Katunayake, Kurunegala, Kandy and Kalutara. The next phase will include Ratnapura and the south, he said.