Provision of Satellite tv for pc Providers by International Satellite tv for pc Operators in India – Regulatory Framework

India’s current regulatory setting basically requires suppliers of Indian home companies (i.e., up linked from India, with supposed protection of India) corresponding to Direct to Dwelling (“DTH”) and VSAT companies to make use of Indian Nationwide Satellite tv for pc System (“INSAT”) satellites. India is a comparatively mature satellite tv for pc market, with its personal home satellite tv for pc operator, Indian Area Analysis Group (“ISRO”), offering geostationary satellite tv for pc companies since 1982. ISRO established in 1969 manufactures and efficiently launches satellites, as INSAT. Until the early 1990s, the Indian satellite tv for pc market was dominated by INSAT and by Intelsat, which was then a global treaty group, one in all whose signatory was the then Authorities of India (“GoI”) owned telephony service, Videsh Sanchar Nigam Restricted.

The important thing part of DTH and VSAT companies is satellite tv for pc capability and Ku-band is the frequency of alternative for all DTH and VSAT operators. Underneath India’s current regulatory regime, any firm wishing to offer subscription primarily based tv companies to clients in India should uplink from Indian territory, and additional should use both an Indian satellite tv for pc, or a satellite tv for pc system permitted by the Indian Division of Area (“DoS”). A number of VSAT operators are additionally very eager to start out utilizing Ku-band to decrease gear prices via the usage of smaller dishes. Some impartial trade analysts forecast that the demand from these two market segments for Ku-band will outstrip the demand for C-band inside the subsequent 2 – Three years. VSAT operators are additionally required to make use of INSAT satellite tv for pc for nationwide connectivity or a satellite tv for pc system permitted by DoS, although the desire is all the time given to INSAT satellites. Web Service Suppliers are nonetheless licensed to arrange worldwide gateways immediately utilizing C and Ku-band (and variant thereof) transponders in overseas satellites for world connectivity, i.e., with none intervention by ISRO. Equally, an Worldwide Lengthy Distance service supplier is permitted to supply all forms of bearer companies from an built-in platform utilizing overseas satellites for provision of worldwide voice, knowledge, fax, video and multi-media tele-services.

The approval course of for utilizing a non Indian satellite tv for pc or a overseas satellite tv for pc by a DTH service supplier includes DoS, the Wi-fi Planning & Coordination Wing of the Division of Telecommunications and the Ministry of Info & Broadcasting. Choice is all the time given to INSAT satellites, operated by ISRO. In cases the place INSAT doesn’t have ample in-orbit capability accessible for any explicit service, the lease of overseas satellite tv for pc capability is canalized via ISRO. Approval when granted is normally on a brief time period foundation till INSAT is ready to launch future further capability. Presently, a number of leases have been signed with overseas satellite tv for pc operators by ISRO to cowl shortfalls in transponder capability together with leases with Thailand’s Thaicom for C-band capability and with New Skies and SES Americom for Ku-band capability. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has been persistently recommending for an ‘Open Sky’ coverage for all satellite tv for pc customers. Nonetheless, this suggestion has up to now not been accepted by GoI and it’s unlikely that the identical can be thought of by GoI within the close to future. Nonetheless, this closed regulatory regime severely limits the flexibility of overseas satellite tv for pc operators to supply Ku-band companies to clients up linking from inside India.

In view of the foregoing and from a regulatory viewpoint, presently the one operator able to supplying Ku-band capability in India for DTH or VSAT use is ISRO/INSAT. Clearly, INSAT doesn’t have ample capability to fulfill the present and future demand of the Indian market. Although, ISRO has acquired approval to start constructing further satellites to offer enlargement capability, however these won’t be accessible for an additional 2-Three years. Based on a Report ready by Loft Communications for GVF and CASBAA, INSAT C-band capability is nearly totally leased, with overseas operators offering essential further bandwidth. The Report states that the full provide of Ku-band capability is proscribed to 36 transponders, assuming profitable launch of proposed INSAT collection satellites and its Ku-band providing is totally dedicated on launch with no further development alternative for purchasers and no important capability accessible for VSAT clients. With a number of DTH gamers within the Indian market together with the state broadcaster Doordarshan, Area TV (Tata Sky), Solar TV, Reliance, Bharti, Essar, Videocon; elevated VSAT visitors; elevated channels choices by present DTH operators, the hole between the accessible bandwidth capability and required capability is growing quickly. Consequently, until further Indian satellite tv for pc programs are established in India or an Open Sky coverage is launched in India, potential DTH firms could have no alternative however to both curtail their operations or postpone them till such time as ample capability is accessible.

This text is introductory to the collection of articles on provision of overseas satellite tv for pc companies in India. My subsequent article on the topic will talk about doable entry methods for overseas firms and satellite tv for pc operators in India.

Seema Jhingan

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