The Government is considering opening up terrestrial television broadcasting so that operators can offer mobile television services in the country. Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Anand Sharma, has told the Lok Sabha that the policy was currently being considered based on an earlier TRAI recommendation.
A policy to allow the opening up of terrestrial television broadcasting so as to enable the operators to offer mobile TV services is under consideration of the Government. The proposed policy inter-alia covers all issues such as licensing, regulatory mechanism, cross-media restrictions, foreign investment, sharing of infrastructure, etc.
TRAI had, in its recommendations dated January 23, 2008, proposed composite foreign investment limit, including FDI of 74 per cent, for mobile TV service while reiterating its earlier recommendations for a complete review of FDI policy relating to carriage aspects of electronic media as a whole so that it is consistent across all sectors. The Authority has further recommended that foreign investments up to 49 per cent may be permitted under the automatic route, beyond which FIPB approval would be required.
BS Lalli, CEO, Prasar Bharati, said, “Doordarshan has launched mobile TV service within the radius of 10-12 km from Akashvani Bhawan, Parliament Street, New Delhi, on the digital video broadcasting-handheld (DVB-H) compliant mobile handsets. The channels currently being beamed are DD National, DD News, DD Sports, DD Bharati, DD Urdu, DD Punjabi, DD Bangla and DD Podhigai. We are happy with the response received so far. I am waiting for mobile TV to start in India in a big way.”
Welcoming the development, Rajiv Hiranandani Co-Founder and Executive Director – Revenues, Mobile2win, said, “It’s a big policy that we have been waiting for to come through. But then it’s better late than never.”
According to Viren Popli, SeniorVP - Mobile Entertainment, Star India, “It’s a good step towards mobile TV. TRAI had floated a consultation paper three months’ back. We all are waiting for the final policy to come through. FDI of 74 per cent is good step. It’s a good time as mobile TV and 3G offer unique differential capability to consumers.”