May 2017


"As on date, there is a committed demand from the DTH service providers for 68 more transponders," I&B Minister - Venkaiah Naidu, admitted in the Lok Sabha. T

he transponder requirement has increased mainly due to the larger number of High Definition (HD) channels now available. HD channels require atleast 150% more bandwidth than SD channels.

As on 31 March 2017, 104 DTH transponders (36 MHz equivalent) were in use.

CASBAA in its March 2016 report "Capacity Crunch Continues: Assessment Of Satellite Transponders' Capacity For The Indian Broadcast & Broadband Market" said that while ISRO has been doing a commendable job, it's unlikely to meet the market demands on Indian satellites, which will have to be provided for on foreign satellites.

CASBAA had recommended:

A. Foreign transponder contracts need to be of longer durations (10-15 years) &

B. Allow direct contracting by DTH operators for incremental capacity with existing satellite providers already authorized (by ITU and ISRO).


Since most channels were replicated by the 6 Pay DTH platforms, the TRAI is exploring the possibility of DTH platforms sharing common channels. These channels will be uplinked with multiple encryption systems, of various DTH platforms.

An alternate, long term policy is to maybe make the Indian government's iCAS mandatory for all DTH platforms and Cable TV networks. Each platform is free to also deploy any other Conditional Access System (CAS). This will not only enable share of DTH channels but also make STBs interoperable between different DTH and Cable TV operators. n