January 2017


Will the Competition Commission of India, the monopoly watchdog, approve the proposed merger of DishTV and Videocond2h? The combined entity will have a 45% share of the DTH market. This appears to be a clear violation of the TRAI's "Recommendations on Issues related to New DTH Licenses" dated July 23, 2014 which prohibits a DPO from having more than 33% market share.

The move to postponed DAS-3 till 31st Jan & DAS-4 till end March 2017, is rational and welcome. However, there seems to be little additional purchasing on the ground. DAS phase 4 remains a major concern for the Cable TV industry, as its simply not viable to invest and maintain the necessary technical CAS & EPG manpower in a highly fragmented rural Cable TV market. DAS-4 subscribers will all probably migrate to DTH in the months ahead.

Star India has once again used courts to stall the TRAI's tariff overhaul, recommended by the TDSAT and the Supreme Court. It's unfortunate that the Madras High Court has stalled this long overdue reform.

2017 heralds the beginning of the 'Digital Only' era for Indian Cable TV. Cable TV - even after its migration to digital - is a mature technology.

The decades old personal association with customers provides Cable TV networks a firm foothold into consumers' homes. This can be utilised to offer wired broadband, which provides significantly superior margins, without the hassles of proprietary content from broadcasters.

In the months ahead, this magazine will provide increased focus and content on broadband, primarily addressing how it can be deployed by Cable TV networks. This month's technical article is in that direction. Do let us know your thoughts on this, and the road map ahead.