Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Ltd (Becil), a PSU under the Information & Broadcasting Ministry began work on the FM radio integration project on Monday, thereby giving a push to the private radio movement in the country.
According to sources, Becil hasn’t received MoUs (memoranda of understanding) from all the licencees yet.
According to industry sources, it is an international practice to hire integrators for putting up the infrastructure for media projects, both for television and radio. In the case of private FM radio project in Kolkata, Delhi and Chennai, this international practice has been replicated, with the licencees getting an integrator—Becil.
Players in these three metros would co-locate their transmitters on the All India Radio (AIR) towers. The objective of co-location is to save spectrum. In non-metros, however, co-location is not mandatory.
As co-location is a complex issue, with several parties involved, it would be Becil’s job to put the private FM project together in the three cities. While it began work on the project on Monday, Becil is set to meet the FM licencees today for a project review.
Even as the players for the first phase of FM radio privatisation were finalised way back in 2000, three metros (Kolkata, Chennai and Delhi) have only now got into the real act of putting up their stations.