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VSNL’s new service to slash uplink rates by 75%

29-November-2000
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VSNL’s new service to slash uplink rates by 75%

The new MCPC service for digital channels has been priced at Rs 15 lakh per month, compared to the earlier Rs 55-65 lakh per month for the analogue uplinking service. The MCPC service will require a minimum three years commitment from the channels wanting to use the VSNL platform.

Zee will be uplinking four channels from the new VSNL platform. The broadcaster had evinced keen interest in putting its entire bouquet of around 10 channels on the MCPC service; but with VSNL able to accommodate only 16 channels in the first round, Zee’s request has been turned down to give new broadcasters a chance, VSNL sources said.

Other broadcasters, which will be using the new service, include the south-based Raj TV, the technology channel TMG-Enter and the new Calcutta-based Sky Bangla. Raj TV, which is currently uplinked from Bangkok on Thaicom-3, has booked two slots on the new VSNL service.

The new uplinking rates are at least 30 per cent cheaper than the comparable transponder rentals offered by more established satellite platforms like Panam Sat-4 and AsiaSat-3. The Bangkok-based Thaicom-3, however, is marginally cheaper than the VSNL offer, but contracts are typically short-term and subject to upward revision.

VSNL has acquired two new transponders on Intelsat’s APR-I satellite, each of which will accommodate eight digitally compressed satellite channels. VSNL had earlier leased around 10 transponders for the first batch of south-based satellite channels that started uplinking from India.

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