Alcatel-owned EuropeStar, a seller of transponder capacity for Internet, broadcast and other applications, is in discussions with major television broadcasters in India to ramp up its client base in anticipation of closure on the conditional access system (CAS) this year.
While the company, through its major client DataAccess, plies primarily in the Internet space in India currently, it is looking to increase its presence in broadcast of television and radio in the country. Currently, about a third of its total business is either directly or indirectly from India. Its team in India will also be reinforced if a large direct-to-home project comes its way.
“We are basically interested in entering three business areas in India — direct-to-home (DTH), for which we are in discussion with companies in India,” EuropeStar general manager David Chegnion told FE.
“What we are also very keen on for the India market is occasional use - this market is opening up well in India. It involves selling our transponder capacity on an occasional basis. For example, BBC covered the Indian elections using our capacity, and World Cup cricket between India and South Africa was broadcast through our services. The Indian market is huge and we hope it continues to open up.”
Currently, up-linking in India is permitted only on C-band satellites. However, EuropeStar I, the satellite that covers the Indian subcontinental region, functions on the Ku-band.
“The real question to be answered is when Ku-band uplinking will be allowed, after which VSAT applications can be introduced in this potentially huge market,” said Mr Chegnion.
Currently all uplinking in India has to be routed through through INSAT, a law that companies like EuropeStar hope will be reworked to allow other satellites to provide uplinking from India.