New Delhi, October 28
The Centre on Friday said it would deregulate uplinking of satellite television channels within a month to make India an uplinking hub.
Addressing the India Space Congress here, Information and Broadcasting Secretary Apurva Chandra said that of the 898 television channels broadcast in the country, 532 use foreign satellites for uplinking and downlinking of their services.
Guidelines to be revised
- Of 898 TV channels, 532 use foreign satellites for uplinking and downlinking of their services
- The uplinking and downlinking guidelines to be revised soon, maybe within a month
- Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan can use India as a hub for uplinking their TV channels
“We want to deregulate uplinking of satellites so that India can become a hub,” he said. “The uplinking and downlinking guidelines were last issued in 2011. The process to revise them is underway. The guidelines will be revised soon, may be within a month,” Chandra told the media later.
He said neighbouring countries such as Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan could also use India as a hub for uplinking their television channels. The government has approved USD 102 million (Rs 800 crore) in remittances to foreign satellite operators over the past two years for providing uplinking and downlinking services to television channels. “If we are to have more Indian satellites, the foreign remittance will be far less and provide a great opportunity to Indian satellite companies,” he said. At present, several satellite television channels use Singapore as the hub for broadcasting their channels. Chandra also said state broadcaster Prasar Bharati and IIT-Kanpur were developing a direct-to-mobile broadcasting platform with the aim of increasing TV content consumption over mobile phones.
“Mobile users can see channels directly. This will ensure effective consumption of spectrum and will also be cost-effective for broadcasters,” he said, adding that direct-to-mobile broadcasting may be a reality within two to three years. Chandra noted that the television viewership was static at 200 million for the past few years, while mobile use was on the rise.
The Information and Broadcasting Secretary said low earth orbit satellites would be critical to expand broadcasting either through broadband or data and cost effectiveness would be key to the success of satellite communication.
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