NSTPL plans Rs 15 bn investment in HITS

NEW DELHI: Noida Software Technology Park Limited (NSTPL), part of the Jain TV Group, is planning to invest Rs 15 billion over five years in its Headend-In-The-Sky (HITS) project.

The HITS service, branded JainHITS, is set for a November launch coinciding with the digitisation deadline in the four metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.

Speaking to, Jain TV founder and chairman JK Jain said NSTPL is owned by two investors with Ankur Services having 87 per cent stake and Growth Fund with Jain Studios having the remaining 13 per cent. Ankur Services is privately held by JK Jain‘s son Ankur Jain who is also the managing director of JainHits.

NSTPL has roped in Motorola as the end-to-end technology partner, while Intelsat is the satellite provider for the service and KIT Digital the solution architect and managed services partner.

Intelsat has initially made available three transponders to carry 200 television channels, JK Jain said. The earth station of NSTPL is on a 23-acre area in Noida.

The digital addressable system installed through NSTPL will cost a mere Rs 1.5 million as against Rs 30 million. The entry cost to the subscriber will be Rs 950.

"Carriage fees will be shared with local cable operators (LCOs) who opt for JainHits service," he said, while refusing to disclose the percentage that would be shared with them.

JainHits was officially launched today, more than two years after Essel Group-owned WWIL had shut its HITS service citing lack of clarity in regulations.

"JainHits is the cheapest alternative for cable operators who are fighting to save themselves from the DTH onslaught in the face of digitisation deadlines," he added. The government has mandated 31 December 2014 as the deadline for switchover from analogue to digital cable systems across the country.

According to JK Jain, the cable operators in the country would have to spend around Rs 180 to Rs 300 billion for going digital but with the HITS service this could be achieved pan-India in just Rs 9 billion.

In the first phase, JainHits aims to offer 200 standard definition and high definition service; HBB TV (Interactive TV) and broadband. In the second phase, it will be scaled to offer 500 channels including 30 HD channels and value added services for e-commerce, education, healthcare, financial services, gaming, and on-demand content etc. Within one year of launch, the platform will evolve into a multi-screen service.

JainHits aims to facilitate 60,000 cable operators and 120 million subscribers three million terabits of downloads, e-education services for 300,000 villages, e-health for 300 million rural Indians, and 60 million daily electronic transactions.

Ankur Jain said the latest technology in DVB S2 MPEG 4 quality over satellite followed by DVBC transmission for cable would be used. These technologies are more suited for broadcast than IPTV and DTH as they are weather proof, capacity efficient and can run 1000 channels unlike DTH and IPTV.

Stephane Thibault, managing sales director, media services – Asia of Intelsat said that two Intelsat satellites – IS 17 at 66 degrees East ad IS 10 at 68.5 degrees east had been made available to JainHits and since they were positioned over India, dish antennae would just have to be positioned upwards without fear of signals being blocked by buildings.

Motorola Mobility VP and regional GM for Asia Pacific Kevin Keefe claimed that no other technology could be deployed as rapidly to meet India’s digital mandate, using existing HFC infrastructure. The growth in video services was estimated to be 4 per cent CAGR between 2011 and 2015.

Kit Digital MD Asia Pacific Nicole Dixon said Kit Digital would play the role of integrator. Its E2E solution would help distribute 500 channels.

Former Telecom Regulatory Authority of India head Pradip Baijal, who has come on board as advisor for the project, said the Indian market was very price sensitive but had the best technologies, especially in mobile networks.

JainHits would be promoted through personal contact. NSTPL also plans to form National Federation of Cable Operators.

Alsor read:

Jain TV Group plans HITS service, signs up with Intelsat
NSTPL’s HITS platform christened as Jain HITS

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