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DAS Phase II: LCOs switching off channels to create demand

28-February-2013
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DAS Phase II: LCOs switching off channels to create demand

With roughly a month remaining for the DAS Phase II deadline, hectic preparations are on in 38 cities across 15 states covered in this phase. LCOs and MSOs continue to battle with issues such as scarcity of set top boxes (STBs), getting adequate manpower to get the STBs installed in a race against time as well as tackle consumer apathy as they tend to delay things till the last moment.

Cable operators in Rajasthan have found a novel way to get their customers to get the STBs installed. They have started to switch off channels in order to increase the demand for installation of boxes. Jaipur and Jodhpur are the two major cities in Rajasthan that are covered in DAS Phase II.

Talking to exchange4media, Lukhwindar Singh, a cable operator from Jaipur, said, “To deal with the issue of customer unwillingness, we have started to switch off some channels to create demand amongst customers to install the set top boxes.”

He added, “We have started taking this step since last week and are seeing a rise in demand for the boxes. Apart from this, we are also running some campaigns to create awareness amongst the consumers.”

An official of Smart Cable Vision, a Jodhpur-based cable operator, admitted, “We are lagging behind in the installation of STBs; only about 20 per cent of the installation has been done till date. We are apprehensive about completing the installation process in just 30 days time.”

Punjab well on its way to digitisation
In contrast, Punjab’s march towards digitisation is fairly smooth. Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Amritsar are the three major cities covered under DAS Phase II.

Cable operators are satisfied with the STB installation process and are confident about completing the installations within the given time period. According to the cable operators, so far around 80 per cent of the installations have been done.

“The digitisation process in Punjab started quite some time back with lots of promotion, which made the consumers understand the significance of going digital. We also ordered plenty of set top boxes in advance to meet the demand,” said an official of Max Consultancy, a Punjab-based cable operator.

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