Public Broadcaster Doordarshan plans to start broadcasting directly a bouquet of 20 free to air channels in partnership with private media houses on mobile phones from next year.
"At present you have choice of dish, cable and antenna. The fourth choice that will come up is digital antenna which will offer bouquet of 20 free channels on TV this year and next year on mobile," Prasar Bharti Chief Executive officer Jawhar Sircar told reporters on sidelines of CII Big Picture Summit.
The service on mobile phones is being planned in Mumbai and Delhi to start with.
Doordarshan will use DVB-T2 Lite technology which can be accessed through a dongle at present.
"Target is to start with all free to air channels operating at our DTH platform. We are asking them (private companies) to come and form a partnership. It can be accessed through a dongle. The moment telecom companies see it picking, they may embed it inside mobile phone," Sircar said.
DVB-T (Digital Video Broadcast-Terrestrial) will transmit signal from TV towers and will not consume mobile internet for TV viewing. The transmission will be facilitated through an application which will act as a switch to on TV service on mobile phones.
"We now don't get to watch television during 10-12 hours of office time. Most of the things happen on either tablet or on mobile phone. There are so many people who travel daily and can watch channels on mobile phone as long as their battery supports without paying for the service. It will be supported by ad revenue," Sircar said.
He said that there is forecast that India will have about 225 million smartphones by end of this year and that he expected it to be around 185-190 million which is humongous and more than population of many countries.
"Digital terrestrial is very famous in Europe because of cost efficiency. This is an offer that I come forward with. If 44 countries are working well on terrestrial, why are we junking it?" Sircar said.
Sircar said the bandwidth that will be used to transmit TV channels on mobile phones can support about 20 FM radio channels and some also for telecom services.
He also said that he wants industry to partner with Doordarshan for its international platform which will hit about 120 millions households in Europe in next two months.
Prasar Bharati has signed agreement with German public service broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) which will for the first time allow distribution of 'India Channel' on DTH Platform of Hotbird-13B Satellite through a 'Free-to-Air' basic package mode.