Dr. Jinendra Kumar Jain is a Surgeon, Former Member of Parliament and the Founder / Chairman of Indian media House, the Jain TV Group. Dr. Jain pioneered the satellite TV era in India by launching country’s first round-the-clock satellite television service in Indian languages. JAINHITS is his latest initiative to serve the national goal of digitization. JAINHITS is a Direct To Network (DTN) digital service that has many advantages over DTH. JAINHITS proposes to distribute 200 to 500 digital channels via satellite to the existing ground networks of cable operators and is designed to integrate broadcasting and broadband internet services, thus help bridging the digital divide in one go all over the country.
Talking to exchange4media, Jain talks about the operations of JAINHITS, digitisation, and the way forward for the cable TV industry.
What is the presence of JAINHITS since launch?
The launch of the JAINHITS service took place in January 2014 and ever since, our journey has been on the fast track. We aim to build and operate digital highways in collaboration with the cable network owners. The response of the small cable operators (LCOs) has been excellent and they only are fueling the growth of the JAINHITS. The big monopoly houses in Indian cable industry have been offering resistance at every step of our journey. The big players thrive on the weaknesses of the small operators while our strategy is based on their empowerment. Many of these small LCOs are not highly educated and don’t fully understand the DAS regulations and matters related to taxation, etc. But they have made money by setting up their networks. At times they succumb to the pressure tactics and allurements of the big players but the history of the cable trade has shown that they don’t want to lose the control of their networks and of their customers. These are some of the reasons that they find our offerings much more attractive and beneficial to them.
Why should a cable operator join hands with JAINHITS?
In our endeavor to enable 60,000 small and medium cable operators to become MSOs and go digital independently, we are offering an integrated end- to- end, single window plug & play solution. JAINHITS offerings are fully regulated and DAS compliant with a wider choice of channels that is cost effective and is the fastest way to offer Digital cable services in any part of India. In addition, our broadband offering gives additional edge to JAINHITS partners and helps them to increase revenues by increasing ARPUs.
How much has the company achieved in terms of revenue as well as subscriber numbers since its inception?
In a short span of time since January 2014, JAINHITS has more than 300 cable operators across the country. We have sold more than 100,000 set top boxes so far. We are also providing broadband services at more than 150 locations and have crossed 50,000 subscriber base.
How does the company plan to achieve this target, as some of your competitors are already established in the market?
JAINHITS provide a simple “Plug & Play Cost Effective Digitization Solution” to cable operators. Further JAINHITS is the only Digitization Solution available on pan India basis and in many areas there are no competitors because big players do not want to serve hilly and far - flung areas.
JAINHITS technology is well established and proven as we have partnered with international technology giants Intelsat & ARRIS (earlier Motorola) for this innovative venture. Our 2014 mission is “2000 partners” and we are marching ahead on daily basis to fulfill this objective. The target for the first year is 2.2 million subscribers.
What are the number of channels and services that you are offering?
Currently, JAINHITS offers 250 channels which comprises of large number of regional channels. Soon the number of channels will be enhanced to 500 with a special HD bouquet. We offer centralised billing, customer care, subscriber management system (SMS) and a full range of support solutions. In addition, we offer innovative products like cloud broadband, gaming console, HBB (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband) TV, Wi-Fi Hot spot, amplifiers, nodes, etc.
Why is HITS a better option than DTH?
It is the best and cheapest delivery mechanism in digital broadcast space, making it the easily managed Digital Cable Delivery Platform. HITS is the only technology that can implement DAS in one stroke all over India, meeting all the regulatory and licensing requirements at the same time. HITS technology with the help of Subscriber Management System (SMS) and Conditional Access System (CAS) can monitor and control all accounting, billing and cable distribution related business functions of all the subscribers all over the country.
In addition, HITS is much less expensive and provides much better quality of service than DTH because the digital signals of HITS remain unaffected by rains or any other disturbance in the sky, which certainly destroy the DTH signals
Are you expecting some more investment?
The enormous changes are quite visible as we walk the year 2014. Nobody doubts the fact that Cable digitization will be a game changer in India and with this investor sentiment is positive, as they would like to be part of the growth story of digitization.
It is also true that the vertical chain of the industry stands divided between big
and small players. But, the game is turning in the favor of small cable operators and their victory would mean the success of HITS platform.