As the Centre is delaying issuing licence to Tamil Nadu government owned Arasu Cable Corporation, cable operators in Chennai, one of the four metros which was mandated to implement cable digisation, have decided to launch their own Multi System Operator (MSO). This will be the first time in the country, claims the cable operators, who are planning to invest around Rs 40 crore and said their service through digitisation will start from January 18.
The new MSO is named as Tamil Nadu Cable Communications, said P Shakilan, state president, Thamizhaga Cable TV Operators. He added that 500 operators have joined the new initiative, which will be operated through Limited Liability Partnership (LLP).
He added, the new MSO has placed orders for set-up boxes to Chinese companies, before February 3.5 setup boxes will be delivered and before May, this year, 10 lakh connections will come under our network, claimed Shakilan. In total all the operators put together will invest around Rs 40 crore.
“We (the cable operators) have been in the industry for over 23 years now and it is our survival game. To protect our livelhihood, we decided to invest for our future,” he said.
When asked the idea behind starting a new MSO, he said, two major reasons are that the operators dont want their operations to go into the hands of a company which is monopoly and the second is confusion prevailing over implementation of digitisation in Chennai, which has been extending from October 31, 2011 due to court cases and other issue. The other major factor is whether Arasu Cable Corporation, the state-run MSO would get licence or not.
It may be noted recently Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) that the central or state government owned companies or undertakings should not be allowed to enter into the business of broadcasting and distribution of TV channels.
He said, the new MSO will have latest technology and would give signal to the local cable operators via digital boxes. He also claimed that the new company will be the first MSO which would give 500 channels in the country.