New technology allows access to webpages without internet.
There’s good news on hand for those who use cable television services. You can now check your Gmail, watch YouTube videos or connect with friends on Facebook at the cost of the regular cable subscription of Rs 150-200 per month — without having to pay extra for an internet connection.
Logic Eastern, a Noida-based manufacturer of cable infrastructure, has developed special set-top boxes which come with an in-built patented hardware that enables connections to Gmail, Facebook and YouTube. The company has made possible two-way flow of data, that is, from websites to cable operators to consumers and return by using the existing cellphone technology.
It has installed large servers which download Gmail, YouTube and Facebook pages on behalf of its subscribers and pushes them on to their television screens. For now, consumers can access this service with a special remote control. However the company is developing a wi-fi keyboard that will be given along with the set-top boxes.
Logic Eastern has already deployed 60,000 such set-top boxes across South Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Nagpur, Bhubaneswar and Jammu. The company has roped in
ICICI as an investor It has bought a 20 per cent stake which is helping Logic Eastern monetise these services that even existing Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) companies and the Direct-to-Home (DTH) operators have not been able to achieve.
“We believe it will be critical for cable operators to differentiate their services by leveraging the massive bandwidth that their cables take to each home. This is something that even DTH can not do,” says Vineet Wadhwa, chief technology officer and promoter of Logic Eastern. Instead of value-added services, the company prefers to call them “enhanced services”.
But how safe is accessing your email via cable? It is as safe as logging on to the internet on your home computer or laptop, says Wadhwa. “We are also developing a technology where the return path can be implemented by a wireless mesh network which will provide full interactivity without the need of an expensive upgrade of cable network. This system is already on trial. The data collected would be of immense value in providing more and relevant value-added services to our subscribers,” he adds.
Also, apart from the remote control, consumers can use their mobile phones to surf channels or access these websites.
“Because of Logic Eastern’s initiative, we are able to provide these set-top boxes at Rs 500 to our consumers. We have several consumers that have preferred our cable service over the DTH services,” says an executive of a South Delhi-based cable operator that is supplying these boxes in Vasant Vihar.