Television

Trai moots 100% foreign ownership in satellite radio

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MUMBAI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), today gave the green signal for 100 per cent foreign ownership in satellite radio services with no entry and licence fee for the time being.

In the recommendations, Trai said that it would desirable to provide a licensing framework now itself so that there is no uncertainty in the future.

The regulatory body also recommended that there shouldn't be any entry fee unless there was an excess demand for the available spectrum space in which case tenders may be invited on the lines recommended for FM radio. It also said adding the Government should not levy any annual licence fee as long as terrestrial repeaters were not permitted.

Some of the major recommendations include:

Regulation and Monitoring

  •     There should be only one license for carriage and the licensee would be responsible to the licensor for content regulation.
  •     AIR Programme code and Advertisement code should be made applicable to Satellite Radio also.
  •     A common uplinking and downlinking policy should be evolved for both television and radio taking into account all aspects including security. This common policy should determine the uplinking policy for Satellite Radio also.

Licensing

  •     It would be desirable to provide a licensing framework now itself so that there is no uncertainty in the future.
  •     100 per cent foreign ownership should be permitted, as already permitted to the only operator.
  •     There should not be any entry fee unless there is excess demand for the available spectrum space in which case tenders may be invited on the lines recommended for FM Radio.
  •     There should be no annual license fees as long as terrestrial repeaters are not permitted. Once these repeaters are permitted a revenue share of four per cent of gross revenue generated in India should be imposed as has already been recommended for FM radio.

Technical Considerations

  •     It should be mandatory for satellite radio operators to provide addressability to every subscriber, which is capable of blocking unwanted channel or group of channels.
  •     Initially, multi standard receivers which can be used with different transmission standards need not be mandated for potential satellite radio operators.
  •     A single license may be issued to provide satellite radio service and complementary terrestrial service to the potential service providers. This license should be issued to the Indian subsidiary only to ensure no legal complications in enforcing regulation and collection of license fees.
  •     The terrestrial repeaters should be permitted only for the re-broadcast of their signal from the satellite and should not be allowed to broadcast locally inserted programmes.

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