In this exclusive interview Cable Quest asked Shyam Ananthnarayan ofTata Elxsi what holds in future for the LCOs in the cable ecosystem.
CQ : How to integrate small networks with the bigger ones so that the small operators also retain the ownership of their business?
Shyam Ananthnarayan : We are going to see an increase in this trend of small operators merging with big operators to retain business. With big operators getting stronger and more hold on the cable ecosystem after the implementation of CAS and DAS their market share will tend to increase and small operators to save their business will enter into partnerships with bigger MSOs. It will be ideal for the bigger MSO to safeguard the interest of the LCO as they can benefit from the existing relationship the LCO has with their subscribers.This is important for organized functioning as TRAI will monitor both service and quality. In addition, MSOs will need to partner with LCOs for the roll out of STBs, education of consumers and servicing customers, while LCOs will continue to play a role in collections and increasing ARPU.
CQ : What sustainable business model can exist between MSOs and LCOs where they get adequate revenue share?
Shyam Ananthnarayan :The last mile connectivity is still in the hands of the LCOs which makes them a key player in the cable ecosystem. The advent of digitization will allow the MSOs to track the actual no. of cable households and have more transparency with the LCOs and Broadcasters. This will in turn allow the MSOs to share adequate revenues with the LCOs for the services provided by them.
CQ : What technologies, DOCSIS or IP suit our networks best knowing that we are starting abnitio?
Shyam Ananthnarayan :The latest CMTS equipment carries IP packets encapsulated according to DOCSIS standards. The shift to IP based transport for video also will bring interesting options to save bandwidth (with diff QOS levels) for the operators.
There is increasing adoption of convergence in APAC with a combination of video and data delivery into one system bringing greater system efficiency. The operators can take advantage of this convergence to drive more content at lower cost. Tata Elxsi as a technology service provider has the advantage of viewing this convergence taking place and in fact have a world class cable operator test lab with the latest infrastructure like CMTS, DTA products etc.
CQ : Can a model based on cloud technology help India, particularly networks in the rural areas and remote regions as an alternative to DTH?
Shyam Ananthnarayan : Yes, but maybe not currently. India is witnessing initiatives towards encouragement of latest technology in the rural sector, however there are numerous hurdles that need to be tackled to make it a success. Broadband speed in India is still an issue and good broadband speeds are still highly priced. Once good broadband speed is available at an affordable price then only we can expect consumers in rural and remote regions to access cloud based content. DTH would continue to be the preference of consumers for many years in India.