Reliance Communications and Radio Netherlands Worldwide(RNW) have signed an agreement under which, Reliance will offer a 24X7 live stream of Radio Netherlands Worldwide and feature RNW newsfeed on its WAP portal, R World, available on Reliance CDMA and GSM networks. RNW provides news and analyses from a Dutch-European perspective. Reliance is the first telecom company to have partnered with RNW. The live stream will be available on the News N TV section on R World and the browsing charges wil be 5 paise/10kb.
Reliance also offers BBC Radio service on R World, charged at Rs 30 per month and around 13 TV channels including CNN International. We feel it would be difficult for RNW to find listeners amongst Reliance customers, since RNW caters to a niche audience.
The success of online radio in India has not been very encouraging, with legal ambiguity and confusion over digital rights. FM Radio stations like Reliance’s BIG FM and Radio Mirchi repackage content, in order to avoid legal troubles (since internet simulcasts are not part of FM Radio licenses), and operators have opted for IVR portals for radio content delivery.
Streaming radio is a bandwidth intensive proposition and although Reliance has launched 3G services in many circles, data charges are comparatively higher at 10paise/10kb. An unlimited radio pack similar to the one offered by Idea Cellular(Idea charges Rs 5 per day for unlimited listening, after a 3 day free preview) would have been a better option in this case.