Friday, July 11, 2008

Hutch Launches Mobile Radio Service

Hutch has launched the Mobile Radio, to offer radio on the go and giving their users, the ability to control the music to their own taste. Aimed especially at young executives and college going subscribers, Hutch says this is an attempt to create a new vertical value added service (VAS) vertical, in the telecom business.

As per the service, Hutch mobile subscribers may access Mobile radio by dialing123599 and choose between categories such as Stars, Romantic, Devotional (Hindu/Christian/Muslim), Latest Songs and a My Album category (to store favorites), with around 40-50 songs in each category. The 'My Album' category is created for a personalized selection, depending on the taste of the user. Here the user will be allowed to tag any song that he or she likes to be replayed at will.

The Mobile radio service is currently priced at Rs 3 per minute, but Hutch says the pricing will be subscription-based at a very low cost of usage, approximately 30 to 50 paise per minute, in the near future.

Hutch aims to allow all handset owners to tune into radio stations, while in the current scenario, low end handsets do not have the FM radio feature. Hutch says the Mobile radio product has been developed keeping in mind that this service can be accessed from the most basic handsets, and is a service that anyone can use.

The service will play approximately 10 Voice clips, called Mobile Radio bumpers, describing the channel in not more 5 seconds. Hutch says it expects around 120 min of content per channel per week. The service also offers a language option to surf the application, depending on the operator's circles.

While few Hutch customers have received the SMS from their message center, a majority of Hutch subscribers are clueless about this service. Representatives of the company said that there has been a segmented push for the service because it is still in the process of roll-out. The segment is not really defined as of now.

Representatives of Hutch said the idea may soon evolve into a radio channel-kind of business model, with advertising revenue in the future, and a extension tool.



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