The Information and Broadcasting Ministry (MIB) would soon take an informed decision on TRAI's suggestion on sharing of infrastructure in television broadcasting sector. On March 29, 2017, TRAI issued the recommendations on sharing of infrastructure in television broadcasting sector. Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, asserts that 'The suggestion for sharing infrastructure looks like a valid point but the coding and set-top boxes used by DTH (direct-to-home) service providers are different.'
Speaking on the issue, Information and Broadcasting Minister, M Venkaiah Naidu, stated, 'TRAI's recommendations are to enable a policy environment for facilitating sharing of infrastructure in TV broadcasting distribution sector on voluntary basis. The ministry has not received any proposal from DTH operators for sharing of satellite transponders and earth station facilities with other DTH players and distribution platforms.'
The requirement of satellite transponder capacity for DTH services has been increasing with rise in demand for high-definition channels. The total satellite transponder capacity used by DTH operators presently stands at 104 transponders and there is a demand for 68 more transponders. Presently, all DTH operators uplink signals of television channels to different satellites located at orbital slots and majority of the channels are replicated across multiple platforms. This creates capacity constraints and a significant cost for each operator, thus making the service expensive. In this scenario, enabling sharing of infrastructure may address the issue of demand-supply mismatch of transponder capacity and reduce capital and operating expenditure of the service provider.