The Information and Broadcasting ministry has said it would take an “informed decision” on Trai’s suggestion on sharing of infrastructure in television broadcasting sector. On March 29, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) issued the recommendations on sharing of infrastructure in television broadcasting sector.

“We are considering it… (we) will take an informed decision on it,” Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore told the Lok Sabha while replying to questions. On the face of it, the suggestion for sharing infrastructure looks like a “valid point”, Rathore said but added that coding and set-top boxes used by DTH (Direct To Home) service providers are different.

Trai’s recommendations are to enable a policy environment for facilitating sharing of infrastructure in TV broadcasting distribution sector on voluntary basis, Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said in a written reply to questions. The Ministry has not received any proposal from DTH operators for sharing of satellite transponders and earth station facilities with other DTH players and distribution platforms, Naidu said.

The requirement of satellite transponder capacity for DTH services has been increasing with rise in demand for high definition channels. Naidu said the total satellite transponder capacity used by the DTH operators presently stands at 104 transponders and there is a demand for 68 more transponders.

Presently, all the DTH operators uplink signals of television channels to different satellites located at different orbital slots and majority of the channels are replicated across multiple platforms. This creates capacity constraints and also is a significant cost for each operator, thus making the service expensive, Naidu said.

“In this scenario, enabling sharing of infrastructure may address the issue of demand supply mismatch of transponder capacity and reduce capital and operating expenditure of the service provider,” he added.

Publish date: April 13, 2017 9:27 am| Modified date: April 13, 2017 9:27 am

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