The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has cleared the Rs 2,000-crore Tata Sky DTH project, for which the licence was applied in early 2004. Though the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had cleared the venture in May 2005, the company could not get the operational licence without DoT’s nod.
Said an excited Vikram Kaushik, Tata Sky’s Chief Executive Officer, “We have now received a formal letter of clearance from DoT and we are very pleased. As we had announced earlier, we will be looking at launching in the second quarter of 2006.”
The DTH project, which is an 80:20 venture between the Tatas and Rupert Murdoch’s STAR, was awaiting clearance from the standing advisory committee on radio frequency allocation, which is chaired by the telecom secretary. But now with the green signal, Tata Sky DTH looks all set to take on Zee’s Dish TV, Kalanidhi Maran’s Sun Direct TV and Anil Ambani’s DTH project.
Tata Sky had signed an agreement with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) last month to lease all 12 ku-band transponders on the INSAT 4A satellite, which will help the company provide its DTH services to viewers across India. The INSAT 4A satellite is expected to be launched next month.