The Tata-Star direct-to-home (DTH) joint venture, Tata Sky, has partnered with Thomson to support the DTH services that they will launch in mid-2006.
Technology provider Thomson will manufacture the set-top boxes in India and provide countrywide after-sales service and support network for Tata Sky customers.
Vikram Kaushik, CEO, Tata Sky, said, “Selecting Thomson as a preferred partner gives us proven high quality customer premises equipment, through which, we can deliver our programming and associated interactive services.”
In addition to meeting the Bureau of Indian Standards requirements, the set-top boxes will have a feature-rich design that will enable Tata Sky to deliver multiple programming, pricing packages and interactive services to its customers.
The agreement with Tata Sky marks Thomson’s entry into the DTH satellite television market. Thomson will develop and customise set-top boxes for Tata Sky at its R&D center in Bangalore.
Tata Sky is expected to start beaming news and entertainment into houses in Mumbai by April-June this year. The roll out plan for the DTH services will be launched first in the urban centres; thereafter, depending on the response the service will then move into the next class of cities.
Last month, Tata Sky joined hands with technology solution provider NDS Group for end-to-end software solutions to launch the company’s DTH television service in the country.
The NDS video guard conditional access solution provides superior broadcast security, which will enable Tata Sky to offer multiple programming and pricing packages.
Tata Sky has already leased 12 KU band transponders from India’s most modern communication satellite Insat 4-A, to start its DTH services across the country, which will start from mid-2006 with an annual fee of Rs 40 crore to the Indian Space Research Organisation.