TM in push to remain competitive in IPTV space

TV AlHijrah acquisition and airtime management GM Mohd Mokthar Abdul Rahman (left) and Kung at a media conference after the launch in Kuala Lumpur. (Pic by Ismail Che Rus)

Telekom Malaysia Bhd’s (TM) new media arm, TM Net Sdn Bhd, is ramping up its efforts to secure more free-to-air providers to remain competitive in the industry ahead of Puncak Semangat Sdn Bhd’s project to develop the digital terrestrial TV (DTTV) infrastructure and network facilities in the country.

“First of all, we are already digital. The business depends on the number of channel to be made available in the future.

“We will be continuing our discussions with the free-to-air providers. It is our intention to get as many as we can,” TM Net CEO Jeremy Kung Eng Chuang told reporters after the launch of Malaysia’s first Islamic on demand content on HyppTV, AlHijrah on demand channel.

Currently, HyppTV offers a total of 119 channels, 21 channels being free-to-air including radios, 18 video on demand channels, 50 premium channels and 22 interactive channels. Out of 119, 36 channels are in high-definition (HD) while 83 channels are on standard-definition (SD). To date, HyppTV has close to 700,000 subscribers.

HyppTV is part of TM’s bundled triple-play service offering of telephone, internet and IPTV called UniFi.

In June 2014, Puncak Semangat announced RM2 billion in capital expenditure (capex) over its 15 years of concession period to develop the DTTV infrastructure and network facilities. Puncak Semangat bagged the 15-year concession from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) on April 15.

According to MCMC statement, Puncak Semangat will develop the DTTV infrastructure, which includes a digital multimedia hub and a network of high, medium and low-powered digital TV transmitters nationwide that are capable of carrying up to 45 SD or 15 HD digital TV channels, for a start.

The initial migration to digital will be for current government-owned and private stations, such as TV1, TV2, TV3, ntv7, 8TV, TV9, TV Alhijrah and Bernama TV.

Puncak Semangat will be rolling out the DTTV services in four phases starting January 2015. Phase 1 will cover areas in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang while Phase 2 will cover Sabah and Sarawak.

Meanwhile, TM, via Hypp- TV, has officially launched Al- Hijrah on demand channel, which provides quality Islamic content in HD for the first time on the platform.

The channel was officially launched by TM chairman Datuk Seri Dr Halim Shafie and AlHijrah Media Corp chairman Tan Sri Dr Mohd Yusof Noor.