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7.34 mn STBs shipped to SAARC in Q3, India accounts for 97% of total shipments

MUMBAI: Manufacturers have shipped 7.34 million set-top boxes (STBs) worth $176 million to the SAARC region (Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) in the September-ended quarter of 2015.

India accounted for about 97 per cent of the total shipments, according to a new research report from Dataxis.

The market in the SAARC region has registered record growth during the period as rapid digitisation in the digital addressable system (DAS) Phase III cities of India is driving the demand for STBs.

Buoyed by mandatory or voluntary digitisation, SD, HD and hybrid STBs are witnessing steady and robust growth in major SAARC countries.

According to the Dataxis report, STB shipments to SAARC countries have witnessed 73 per cent quarter-on-quarter growth during the Q3 2015.

Skyworth tops the STB shipments to SAARC in the Q3 2015. The company reportedly has plans to manufacture STBs locally for the Indian market.

Local manufacturing in India, which accounted for just 5 per cent of total STBs sold during the first and second phases of seeding, is showing steady growth in the third phase. Dataxis estimates that the sale of made-in-India STBs will witness growth up to 15 per cent in the fourth phase of digitisation.

“Local STB manufacturing in India has increased almost fourfold in the third quarter of 2015, and this is in line with our expectations. As the deadline for the third phase of digitisation nears, there is high demand for STBs from the MSOs and most of the independent and small operators are coming forward to partner with indigenous brands,” says Dataxis media analyst Sreeja VN.

As per the report, the move by direct-to-home (DTH) operators like Airtel Digital TV, Dish TV and Videocon d2h to opt for indigenous brands has also boosted the Indian STB industry.

Another notable trend, according to Dataxis, is the increase in demand for HD and UHD STBs in the region.

Dataxis’s analysis of STB shipment for the Q2 2015 and Q3 2015 shows steady growth in the volume of HD STBs shipped to India. The rise in the number of HD and UHD STBs has also contributed to a rise in the average selling price of STBs to the country.

Key STB vendors for the quarter include Technicolor, Skyworth, Changhong, Huawei and Coship (international Vendors), and Mybox, One-eIGHT technologies, Trend Electronics, Ridsys, and Willet Communications (Domestic Vendors).