Hutchison To Launch GPRS, To Provide World Cup Clips

Mumbai: | Updated: Jan 28 2003, 05:30am hrs
Hutchison Essar on Monday announced the launch of GPRS (general packet radio service) across all its networks in the country with World Cup 2003 video clip as the main attraction.

Hutch GPRS services will be available from February 8, coinciding with the 2003 cricket World Cup. Hutch has bought exclusive World Cup cricket content from WSG Nimbus.

Hutch GPRS services will be available at a basic subscription of Rs 249 per month and will be offered at a special introductory price of Rs 99 per month till March 31. The World Cup video clips and progressive stills can be received for Rs 99 till the end of the tournament.

We will be offering video clips of a live event on our GPRS mobile services. Perhaps this is the first time that a cellular operator will be offering replays on the mobile phone on a real time basis, said Hutchison chief executive officer Asim Ghosh.

Hutch will be offering the service for all the World Cup matches and subscriber will be able to see 50 video clips per match, announced Mr Ghosh, in the presence of cricketer Rahul Dravid, who features in the new Hutch ad campaign.

Subscribers will be able to receive 10 second video clip of the best moments of all matches of the World Cup. Delay for the real time will be at the most 4-5 minutes, said Mr Ghosh.

The company is in talks with other cellular operators for interconnectivity so that a Hutch subscriber can send or receive Multimedia Messaging Service while on other circles (besides Hutch circles) as well.

Hutchison has also tied up exclusively with NDTV and BBC for news and also with MSN Hotmail to offer e-mail services on the phone. However, a subscriber with a Yahoo mail account will also be able to access his mail through Hutch GPRS service. Cricket will be our landmark and start-up service but we will be offering other applications like high end Java games, astrology and entertainment too, Hutchisons vice-president, corporate marketing Sanjeev Vohra said.

Mr Ghosh indicated that the monthly charges might come down gradually with the company looking at charging subscribers on downloads and other events.