DoS/ISRO initiating efforts to migrate DTH ops from foreign to Indian satellites: Rathore

MUMBAI: The department of space (DoS) and its research and development arm Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is initiating efforts to migrate private direct to home (DTH) operators to Indian satellites from foreign satellites.

Replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha, minister of state in the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said, “Department of Space/ISRO is initiating efforts to migrate DTH services from foreign satellites to Indian satellites.

Rathore also informed that DTH operators are using 42 transponders from indigenous satellites and about 67 transponders are leased from foreign satellites.

DTH operators are either operating on indigenous satellites built by ISRO or operating on a capacity leased through ISRO, he added.

Antrix Corporation, the marketing arm of ISRO, is tasked with the responsibility of allocating transponder capacity to DTH operators. Even in the case of foreign satellites, the capacity allocation has to be routed through Antrix.

In December 2017, Rathore had informed the Lok Sabha that the MIB has informed broadcasters, whose contracts with foreign satellite operators are expiring in the near future, to shift to indigenous satellites INSAT/GSAT as the required capacity is available.

As per the ‘Norms, Guidelines and Procedures for Implementation of the Policy Framework for Satellite Communication in India’, all licensed services operating in foreign satellites are to be shifted to Indian satellite as soon as indigenous capacity is available.

In April, the minister had told the Lok Sabha that the DTH operators require an additional 64 transponders in the immediate future. He had also stated that over a period of next three years adequate capacity would be added through Indian satellites to facilitate migration of foreign capacity to Indian capacity.

“Presently DTH services are being supported by 42 transponders on indigenous satellites (INSAT/GSAT) and about 69 transponders on foreign satellites. There is a registered demand of additional about 64 transponders for immediate future,” Rathore had said in the Lok Sabha.

As per data reported to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) by broadcasters, the number of high definition (HD) channels has grown from 3 in 2010 to 83 in 2017.

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