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Arasu extends bid submission date for STB supply contract to 9 June

MUMBAI: Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation (TACTV) has extended the bid submission deadline for digital set-top boxes (STB) to 9 June, 3 pm.

Earlier, the last date to purchase the tender document was 28 May, while the date of opening of tender was 29 May.

The pre-bid meeting on 19 May was attended by 74 potential bidders. The bidders had several concerns about certain conditions in the tender. Prominent among them was the STB replacement warranty period of five years.

The state-owned MSO had initiated the process of STBs after receiving provisional MSO licence to operate in digital addressable system (DAS).

Arasu plans to procure 70 lakh STBs including 60 lakh standard-definition (SD) and 10 lakh high-definition (HD) STBs.

The corporation is also interested to get price discovery for triple-play STB and data over cable service interface specification (DOCSIS) cable modem.

The ruling All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has promised to provide free STBs to consumers. This has made private MSOs jittery, who feel that they will also have to offer STBs free or see customers migrate to Arasu.

The MIB has given Arasu three months to digitise its analogue network. The MSO was granted provisional registration on 17 April. This means that the digitisation exercise will have to be completed by 17 July.

TACTV has been incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 with an aim to provide high-quality cable signals to the public through local cable operators (LCOs) at an affordable cost. The current subscriber base of TACTV is around 70.52 lakh connected through 26,246 LCOs.

As per the unaudited results, TACTV’s net profit for fiscal 2016–17 stood at Rs 41 crore on a revenue of Rs 233.67 crore.

The successful bidder should supply SD STBs, HD STBs, triple-play STBs and DOCSIS cable modem on rate contract basis for a period of one year as ordered by TACTV.

The scope of supply for SD and HD STBs will include conditional access system (CAS) and subscriber management system (SMS).

The STBs and accessories should have a replacement warranty of five years from the date of supply. During the warranty period, the bidder should also provide free maintenance support for all items covered under the contract. The supplier should have arrangements in every taluk for extending service support. The items are to be delivered to any location in Tamil Nadu as may be specified by TACTV.

The proposed TV services, which will have 300 channels to start with and to be expanded to 500 channels, will be in MPEG 4 SD, 30 TV services in HD and 20 FM audio services, with the provision to add more SD and HD channels in the near future.

The tender also states that disputes arising out of non-fulfilment of any of the terms and conditions of this agreement, or any other dispute arising out of the arbitration award, will be subject to the jurisdiction of Chennai courts only.

Successful bidders will have to deploy CAS and SMS from a single supplier for both SD and HD STBs to be seeded by TACTV. Therefore, the CAS and SMS provider of L1 vendor in respect of SD STBs shall supply CAS and SMS to other vendors of SD STBs and HD STBs at the final negotiated rate. In other words, all the STBs should be integrated with a single CAS and SMS.

Forty per cent of the ordered quantity will have to be supplied within 30 days from the date of issue of purchase order while 60% of the ordered quantity will have to be supplied within 60 days from the date of issue of the purchase order.

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