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Trai for 74% FDI in mobile TV services

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

Broadcast regulator Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) today proposed allowing 74 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in mobile television services and favoured bidding for allocation of licences for this service.
Mobile television allows the consumers to watch live as well as pre-recorded television content on a mobile handset using a specialised mobile television broadcasting Currently, only video clips can be downloaded on mobile handsets.
Mobile TV services are currently available in parts of Europe, US, South-East Asia and Japan among other developed countries.
According to Trai's recommendations, all companies seeking to offer mobile television services will have to mandatorily apply for a licence by paying a one-time entry fee in a closed bidding process.
However, companies who wish to offer this service on their existing network can do so without seeking any fresh licence, Trai said in its final recommendation on the subject submitted to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The tenure of mobile television licences should be 10 years.
Several of the existing and media companies have expressed interest in offering mobile TV services as an additional revenue-generating stream.
On the issue of licence fee, Trai has recommended charging the mobile television operators 4 per cent of gross revenue per year or 10 per cent of the reserve one-time entry fee limit for the concerned licence area, whichever is higher.
After winning the licence, each mobile TV operator to offer about 15 video channels through the terrestrial broadcast route, Trai said.
Trai has also recommended sharing of terrestrial transmission infrastructure of Doordarshan along with the sharing of the mobile TV operators infrastructre for all mobile TV licence holders.
The allocation of spectrum to mobile television licencees should be automatic for successful bidders.
Such licensees would be required to pay the usual spectrum usage charges, as stipulated by the Wireless Planning Coordination wing of the Department of Telecom in consultation with the I&B ministry, Trai said.
No mobile television licensee should allow any broadcasting company or group of broadcasting companies to collectively hold or own more than 20 per cent of the total paid-up equity in it at any time during the license period, Trai said.

First Published: Thu, January 24 2008. 00:00 IST