November 2015


By Tony D'Silva, MD - Grant Investrade Limited

MSOs and LCOs in Phase 3 markets are faced with a deadline for implementation of Digitally Addressable Systems (DAS) by December 31, 2015. The DAS roll out in Phase 3 will convert approximately 50 million analog households to digital; similarly, over 60 million analog households in Phase 4 by end-2016.

However, out of thousands of MSOs and LCOs in Phase-3, only around 400 have a DAS license - a crucial service guideline laid down by the Government of India to provide digitized cable TV service. In such a scenario, what do these cable operators do? To help their interests and to support the laudable national mission to roll out DAS all over India, we at Grant Investrade Ltd (GIL) have launched our Headend-In-The-Sky service, NXT DIGITAL, offering a choice of 2 different service models as per their requirements: a white label service model and a full service model.


In the White Label service model, the operator (having a DAS license) will be able to strike content deals on their own. They will enter into an agreement with the broadcaster and avail services of NXT DIGITAL. The operator will pay subscription fee directly to the broadcaster.


The Full Service model is for the operators who do not have a DAS license. In this service model, NXT DIGITAL will enter into contracts with the broadcasters and pay broadcaster fee to the broadcasters.


The Hinduja Group has always been mindful of the welfare of the Cable operators and with NXT DIGITAL too our focus is on how we can further their interests. We therefore undertook in-depth third party research to find out the requirements of the operator fraternity and reached out to over 2000 LCOs, MSOs and their representatives across 120 districts in 8 states in Phase 3 and 4 markets. The research revealed that the LCOs and MSOs wanted to remain independent, own their network, and go digital as per government norms and within the deadlines. The NXT DIGITAL service offering is designed and purpose-built keeping all these requirements in mind.

Crucially, the NXT DIGITAL service will not only help the LCOs and MSOs go digital as per government mandated standards and within the set deadlines, but, throughout the process, help them be independent and retain the ownership of their network. We are delighted with the consumer signups we have garnered thus far. We also have all major broadcasters on board.

The NXT DIGITAL service will provide Television channels to cable operators through a satellite instead of the traditional cable television headend which uses multitudes of satellite dishes and antennas to download broadcast services.

The low capital investment is expected to be the biggest draw for the LCOs, apart from the additional revenue opportunity through VAS services.

We have made significant investments in the NXT DIGITAL Broadcast Centre in Noida, which is a state-of-the-art facility equipped with the latest systems from leading solution providers from across the world.

NXT DIGITAL has made significant investment and will continue to do so, with the sole objective of providing the best in class quality and service to its customers.