Key issues of the satellite industry in India, including future and growth of cable, DTH, IPTV and HDTV, came under the scanner at the Indian Satellite Industry Forum 2010. Organised by CASBAA in Delhi on March 22, the theme of the Forum was ‘On the Digital Edge – Where Broadband HITS the Streets’ and featured key industry leaders.
The Forum commenced with a session on ‘Uniquely India: New Direction and Dangers for Satcoms’, which was moderated by Smita Jha, Associate Director, PWC.
Speaking at the session, Srini Prasanna, VP, Business Development & Regulatory Affairs, ABS, said, “I see India as a most dynamic market. There is a huge demand for satellite services in military, DTH and many other services in India, and I believe that this productive demand will keep on rising. However, easy access technology for Internet growth is still required.”
TR Dua, Acting Director-General, COAI, believed that the way the mobile industry had grown in India, cable and satellite industry would also have to grow in the same manner. “Making incoming calls free and infrastructure sharing with the Government turned out as big decisions for the mobile industry. Such initiatives have to be taken for the cable and satellite industry too,” he added.
According to Jawahar Goel, Managing Director, DishTV and President, IBF, “Regional areas where billions of subscribers need broadband services are the silver lining for this industry. Nowhere in the world are there as many subscribers of DTH as in India. Introduction of 3G and HDTV with the Commonwealth Games will boost new media growth. Consultants of broadcasters need to be educated. Content regulation has not yet taken place and this should also be kept in mind.”
He further said, “Regulation is a very expensive affair in India and getting license is also not very easy. IPTV will take another couple of years to take off. So, a long journey is yet to be completed.”
Pranav Roach, President, Hughes Network System India, noted that broadband penetration in rural India had happened via satellite. “Thus, opportunity is there, and if we will not utilise this opportunity, others will,” he added.
Shyamal Ghosh, Chairman, IPTV Forum India, noted that many villages did not have access to the Internet through satellite and that was a challenge. Soft regulation by the Government was the way forward, according to him. “The FIFA World Cup can bring in more opportunities for IPTV in the country. Before the Commonwealth Games 2010 starts, IPTV and mobile TV can be pushed. There are lots of events and demands that can propel these technologies,” Ghosh concluded.