Its only last September after MediaPro gave its content of 80 channels to JAINHITS on the directions of the Supreme Court that India’s only Headend in the Sky (HITS) platform got its act going. In less than two months since MediaPro supplied its channels to JAINHITS, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) directed Sun, Sony (MSMD) and ESPN to provide their television channel signals to the platform on November 01. Thus started the journey of India’s first HITS platform that according to Ms Ambika Soni, ex I&B Minister was to help thousands of cable operators in the country to digitise their networks and provide digital services to millions of people as envisaged in mandatory digitisation policy of the government implemented in 2011. Although started late after the first two phases of digitisation are over, JAINHITS hopes to help cable operators in Phase 3 & 4 covering 75% of the market.
NSTPL obtained the HITS licence from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in 2003 to establish, install, operate and maintain “headend in the sky” system to provide digital cable services in India. Apparently, the licence was granted even before provisions were made for accommodation of the HITS operator in the regulatory framework. The delay in commencement of operation was due to non availability of content that NSTPL managed to get only after prolonged court battles. Content aggregators who are part of vertical monopoly media groups did everything possible to stall operation of HITS to enable their group MSOs get the lions share of the lucrative Phase 1 & 2 cities.
After its successful launch, NSTPL founder and chairman of Jain TV Group Dr. J.K. Jain said, “The mission of JAINHITS is to build and operate digital highways in collaboration with cable network owners. We thank TDSAT for the ruling as this is an important announcement not only for the 60,000 cable operators across the country but also to the consumers. Without proper digitisation, government is losing huge revenue.”
Dr Jain wishes to provide an independent identity to small cable operators calling them Independent Service Operators (ISO).
Popularity of the ne technology can be judged from the response it is getting from the market. JAINHITS hosted its First All Distribution Partner’s Meet at Manesar, Gurgaon New Delhi from 22-24 December 2013. The objective of the three-day meet was to discuss the Digital Revolution as well as the future outlook for JAINHITS. The meet was attended by Distribution Partners and channel partners of JAINHITS across India.
Over 100 Distribution Partner Delegates covering over 350 districts of India; where JAINHITS has been able to successfully extend its reach as well as partnering entities from Intelsat and Motorola were present during the meet.
JAINHITS offers complete empowerment and ownership to even the smallest Local Cable Operator (LCO) by making him a Leader & Cable Owner and an Independent Service Operator (ISO), by introducing innovative Products, Services, Schemes & Offerings etc. which will make the Digitization Process within the reach of their economic availability.
Dr. J K Jain, Group Chairman, JAIN TV Group spoke about the enormity of the change that is expected in the year 2014 across India. The changing regulatory environment, business goals and the opportunities for Local Cable Operators (LCOs) and Distribution Partners (DPs) were discussed. Mrs Roop Sharma, President Cable Operators Federation of India (COFI) also addressed the delegates as a guest speaker. She spoke about the scope of cable TV business in the future and need to retain the business of LCOs with the help of new technologies like HITS and keep monopolies away from the market.
JAINHITS product portfolio includes Mini Downlink Headend and CMTS for Cable Operators with some add on accessories like Nodes, Amplifiers and Wi-Fi Hot Spots which will help ISOs increase their ARPUs providing broadband services. NSTPL is also an ISP and can provide internet bandwidth to cable operators for further distribution. The system uses DOCSIS 3 technology provided by MOTOROLA, one of the world leaders in the field.
JAINHITS is offering more than 250 Digital TV Channels through the Standard and High Definition Set Top Boxes (MPEG-4) matching the Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) standards, Broadband through Wired and Wireless Modems, Value Added Services like Video On Demand(VoD) and Innovative Products like Cloud Broadband, Gaming Console etc. JAINHITS plans to soon provide online Education and Healthcare to its consumers through its network of ISO’s.
All HITS equipment meant for the ISOs was demonstrated at the meeting taking live feed from the HITS satellite Intelsat. Delegates had a firsthand information about the systems. Even all channel packages for different regions in India and in different genres were displayed.
JAINHITS, apart from its various schemes & offerings announced the Special Happiness package wherein on with one time refundable security deposit consumers can avail free content till December 2014. The company also declared some competitive offerings for its MPEG-4 Set Top Boxes starting from Rs. 1700 onwards. JAINHITS aims to install over 1000 Mini Downlink Headend’s across the 640 districts of India by the end of March 2014. These Headends and the accompanying equipment can be procured by the ISOs for Rs 15 Lakh only as against a digital headend costing Rs 2-3 crores. There are instalment schemes too starting with a down payment of only Rs 5 Lakh.