Thursday, 21 January 2010

The Way Forward

Broadband penetration in India is the biggest worry of the Government now. But the way, we are going ahead with all wireless technologies neglecting the wireline connectivity is not the right way, comments Col. K. K. Sharma. Cable TV networks could play important role if given the right impetus, he feels. 
On December 04, 2009, while addressing a telecom conference organized by FICCI our Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh said that 25 lakh village panchayats would be connected with broadband by the end of 2012. At present India has a total teledensity of 20%. While towns and cities have over 100% tele density rural areas have less than 10%. Dr Singh said “We expect that access to broadband in rural areas will have multiple long term positive effects.” 

Friday, 1 January 2010

A New Era of Competition Begins

BEGINNING OF 2010 ALSO MARKS THE END OF RECESSION AND START OF HEY-DAYS OF INDIAN ECONOMY. THE NEW YEAR BRINGS A LOT OF HOPES FOR THE INDUSTRY. Commonwealth Games will act as a catalyst to speed up the developments. Technologies to watch in the new year are High Definition TV, HITS, WiMax and 3G .This will usher in a new era of competition between the telecom operators and the cable operators. We may even see some acquisitions and mergers to facilitate convergence. There are signs of digital cable spreading all over, at least in big cities to meet the competition in providing HDTV, Video on Demand , High Speed Internet and Content Storage applications like the PVR/DVR. 
Digitalisation of Cable was the high point in the annual SIMCON conference of the state Information Ministers. This was the first time that the I&B Ministry invited the stake holders Broadcasters, MSO and Last Mile Cable Operators to give their presentations before the delegates from states. Content code, Digitalisation of Cable, Piracy of content and Tax rationalization were the main subjects discussed at the conference. 
Meanwhile, TRAI is still grappling with the information received from Ernst and Young, the agency deputed for the purpose of surveying the industry stake holders’ account books to decide on new tariff regime for the non-CAS areas. We are told that the information is not authentic and needs to be handled carefully by TRAI as it effects future development of the market. The outcome will be known soon since TRAI has to answer the Supreme Court on the subject in this month. 
Haryana State government has started an alarming trend of auctioning the municipal areas for running Cable TV networks. Although the process has been halted as many major cable operators and MSOs have gone to the court, it may prompt other state governments to follow the trend endangering the livelihood of thousands of small cable operators who are already in a grind competing with DTH and IPTV. The move which is violating the existing regulations prompted the I&B Ministry to approach the Law Ministry. 
Following the footsteps of Maharashtra and UP Government, Delhi has also proposed levying entertainment tax on DTH subscribers. Cable TV subscribers are already in the Tax net. It may affect DTH growth which enjoyed addition of half a million subscribers every month in the last year. 
Focus, the entertainment summit by ASSOCHAM was held in the capital successfully with Katrina Kaif adding the glamour. 
After a resounding success of our annual issue, last year we are glad to present “Cable-Quest annual 2010”, This time in a bigger way by adding information relavant to everyone including technology, regulations, content trends, major events of 2009 and directory of the industry. Our website turns into a new Avtar with daily updates and plethora of information that. So don’t forget to make it your home page. Your comments and suggestions will help us improve further. 
We thank you for the continuing support and wish a very happy and prosperous New Year.

—— Lt. Col. (Retd.) K K Sharma



January 2010

Friday, January 01, 2010 -- Worldspace goes off-air in India and Airtel Digital TV replaces 10 WorldSpace radio stations with AIR channels on its network.

Can Infrastructure be Shared in Broadcasting Sector

Broadcasting Industry today has grown to an enormous size in the country. Each Distribution Platform Operator (DPO) retransmits on an ave...