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Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has come up with a key recommendation to digitize the Cable TV Distribution System and has fixed the deadline for the complete migration from analogue to digital cable services as December 31,2013. This massive transition from analogue to digital requires training programmes and awareness seminars for the Local Cable Operators (LCOs) so they can understand the benefits of switching over to digital transmission and are braced up to implement the proposed change.
Keeping this in background, Amity Institute of Advance Telecom Training & Research (AIATTR), Amity University organized an awareness Seminar on “Digitization of Cable TV Distribution System” at Amity Campus, Sector- 125, Noida for the Cable Operators across the country. This is for the first time in the country that a University has taken a lead to conduct awareness seminar for training and educating cable operators pan India about the need to digitize the cable transmission
The Seminar was inaugurated by the Chief Guest, Mr. Bhagwan D Khurana- CMD, Newgen Holdings; Mr Francois Pogodalla- CEO, ADB Global, Switzerland; Mr. Vijay Yadav- MD, UT Star Com, Mr. N Parameswaran- Principal Advisor, TRAI ; Maj Gen K Jai Singh- Vice Chancellor, Amity University, Uttar Pradesh and Gen. P D Bhargava- Director General, Amity Institute of Telecom Technology and Management (AITTM)
Welcoming the august gathering, Mr. Naseem Ahmed, Vice Chairman AIATTR said that there are over 550 channels in India and it is not possible to transmit all the channels through analogue transmission, on which the cable industry thrives at present. The recommended switch over from analogue to digital transmission is the need of the hour, which will not only improve the quality of TV channels but will also improve the broadband penetration, Tele- Health, Tele- education, E- Commerce services in the country. The salvation of the country, he stressed, lies in increasing Broadband Penetration, which can be done speedily by Digital Cable Transmission. Talking about the awareness seminar, Mr. Ahmed further said that the seminar is the first step towards educating the Cable operators and their technicians on digital transmission and in future, more such programmes and tutorials will be organized by AIATTR, supplementing the efforts of TRAI
Sharing some important statistics with the gathering, Mr. N Parameswaran- Principal Advisor, TRAI said that India has over 500 million viewers, 85 million Cable TV subscribers, 60,000 Cable Operators and the maximum number of Cable TV subscribers are located in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and West Bengal. Dwelling on the limitations of Analog Cable TV System, Mr. Parameswaran opined that Analog Cable TV system suffers from lack of clarity in terms of cable subscriber base and carriage and placement fees, lack of effective competition, frequent disputes among stakeholders and limited channel carrying capacity. Mr.
Parameswaran, further, shared the various incentives which are being recommended by TRAI for motivating the Cable Operators to digitize the cable transmission including “Income Tax Holiday till March 31, 2019”, “Zero Custom Duty for digital head end equipment for next three years” and “Rationalization of taxes and levies”. He called upon all the Local Cable Operators to extend their full might and support in the recommended analog switch over, which is followed and adapted world over now
Sharing the need and benefit of analog transmission of Cable TV, Mr. Bhagwan D Khurana- CMD, Newgen Holdings and a telecom expert who has witnessed the evolution and subsequent revolution in the Telecom sector since 1980 said, “Indian television industry is poised for a giant leap forward. With growth engines coming from advertising and subscription revenues; the segment is estimated to touch Rs. 522 billion by 2014 from Rs. 257 billion in 2009. Digitization of Cable TV Distribution System is the first step for realizing the Broadband vision of India. Digitization of Cable TV distribution system will occupy fewer frequencies and there will be enough resources left for IPTV. Digital Cable TV improves signal quality and offers more interactive and value added services like Video on Demand, Time Shift TV and many more. The Digital Cable TV will provide great impetus to Indian economy. ”
Commending the recommendation of TRAI, Mr. Upendar Garewal- a Cable Operator from Ropar, Punjab and a participant of the awareness Seminar said that the digitization of Cable Tv Transmission is a very welcoming decision for all the Cable Operators, who initially have to invest heavily in updating the systems but with the various incentives mooted by the TRAI, they will reap huge benefits in the long run. It will be a win-win situation for both cable operators and consumers who will not only experience better quality of channels but will also be able to watch over 500 channels on TV.
Outlining the advantages of Digitization of Cable TV Transmission and wholeheartedly supporting the recommendation of TRAI, another participant Mr. Neeraj Sinha from Maury Diginet, Patna said that the Analog Cable TV transmission will put an end to Broadcaster’s tussle and there will be no confusion over subscribers’ base. He extended his gratitude towards Amity University and Amity Institute of Advance Telecom Training & Research for organizing the awareness Seminar and making them understand the nuances of the proposed change in the Cable Tv transmission
The Inauguration was followed by informative sessions wherein industry experts, Mr. Tryggve Arveschoug- Head Product, Marketing, Conax, Norway, Mr. Ashok Kilam- Director Technical, HBE, Mr. Mehresh Lalit, VP – UT Starcom, Mr. Douglas Pierce, ADB Global, Switzerland, Mr Leszek Koltunski, ADB Global sharde their views on “ Conditional Access System (CAS), IPR Protection and Benefits”; “ Benefits of Digitization”; “ IPTV: is it good for Cable Tv too?; “Set Top Box Evolution” and “ Value Added Services” .