Tata-Sky leases Insat 4A; to offer 150 channels

MUMBAI: The countdown is well and truly on for Tata Sky Ltd, the Tata-Star joint venture, to launch direct-to-home (DTH) services in India.

Tata Sky announced today that it has signed an agreement with the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) to lease all 12 Ku-band transponders on the Insat 4A satellite. These transponders will be used by Tata Sky to provide about 150 channels in digital quality to Indian homes, including those in the remote interiors.

Additionally, the company, formerly called Space TV, announced its re-christening to Tata Sky Ltd, and the branding of its DTH service as Tata Sky (and not T-Sky as earlier announced).

"We will be launching our service with 150 channels," says Tata Sky Ltd CEO Vikram Kaushik.

On being queried as to how 150 channels could be offered with 12 Ku-band transponders, he refuses to spell out the compression technology the company plans to use.

Industry experts say 10 channels can be comfortably squeezed in per transponder. But with statistical multiplexing, Tata Sky can be able to accommodate 150 channels, they add.

The other option to ramp up more channels in 12 Ku-band transponders is to use MPEG-4 compression technology, but experts say the product is not fully out yet in the market and the price is not attractive at this stage.

The company is planning to launch its services in March-June 2006. But aren't 8-10 clearances still to be obtained from various ministries? "We expect to get all the clearances very soon," says Kaushik.

Commenting on signing up with Isro, Kaushik says: "Tata Sky is proud to use an Indian satellite to deliver its service to all television viewers in India. We are excited that our DTH service will be beamed from Isro's Insat 4A, the most advanced and high-powered Ku-band communication satellite in the region. This will enable Tata Sky to offer superior picture and sound quality with a wider range of channels, giving us a competitive edge in the market."

Adds executive director of Antrix Corporation, the marketing and export arm of the department of space and Isro, KR Sridhara Murthi, "We are very happy to partner with Tata Sky in their endeavour to bring about a revolution in television-viewing to India. The Insat 4A satellite has been developed keeping the local requirements in mind and will enable Tata Sky to provide superior coverage all across India."

According to an official release, Tata Sky plans to offer its subscribers cable channels, new innovative programming and interactive services.

As already reported by, Isro is planning to launch Insat 4A from Kourou, French Guayana, on 16 December. According to information available with this website, after launch, a satellite takes anywhere between one to two months to settle into its geostationary orbital slot. What follows then is a month of signal testing after which the service can be offered to consumers. Going by this timeline, Tata Sky should become operational anytime between March and June 2006.

Latest Reads
Andrew Jordan announced successor of AsiaSat's William Wade

Asia Satellite Telecommunications has announced the retirement of its executive director, president and CEO William Wade. He will serve his last day in the company on 1 November 2016 but will stay back as the senior advisor of AsiaSat until 31 March 2017.

Satellites Satellite Operators
GSAT-18 successfully launches, new capacity for DTH operators, TV channels

MUMBAI: Indian DTH operators, television channels, VSAT and digital satellite news gathering providers are a happy lot because of a development in Kouro French Guiana this morning. The reason: the successful launch of Arianespace’s Ariane 5 VA 531 rocket with its passenger, the Indian Space...

Satellites Satellite Launches
Bad weather pushes forward GSAT-18 launch

MUMBAI: The nation - and communication satellite trackers - will have to wait for another day. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced that the launch of its GSAT-18 communications satellite has been delayed by a day. According to its launch partner, Arianespace, the flight...

Satellites Satellite Launches
ISRO's PSLV-C35 launches seven other satellites successfully

Around two hours after lift-off and after placing India’s weather satellite ScatSat1 in a polar sun synchronous orbit at 720 km, the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO’s) PSLV C35 rocket fired once again. Following that maneuver, it placed another seven satellites in orbit at an altitude...

Satellites Satellite Operators
ISRO’s PSLV-C35 takes off successfully, Scatsat1 launched

MUMBAI: It’s another feather in ISRO’s cap. The Indian space outfit seems to be going from success to success. Earlier this morning at 9:12 am, its latest mission the PSLV-C35 lifted off immaculately from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. Around 17 minutes later, its fourth stage...

Satellites Satellite Launches
ISRO to launch eight satellites using PSLV on 26 September

MUMBAI: It will be the second satellite launch this month for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). On 26 September 2016 at exactly 9:12 am the PSLV C35 will blast off from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. It will mark the 37th...

Satellites Satellite Launches
XTreme-AsiaSat to provide 4K premium UHD content

4K-SAT, the Ultra-HD channel operated by Asia’s premier satellite operator Asia Satellite Telecommunications Co. Ltd. (AsiaSat), will be broadcasting premium extreme and outdoor content from XTreme Video on AsiaSat 4.

Satellites Satellite Operators
Govt satellite launches, including from India, to dominate future space market: Euroconsult

NEW DELHI: A major portion of satellites slated to be launched from 2016-2015 with launch mass over 50kg will be dominated by government satellites from countries like the US, Russia, India, China and Japan, according to Euroconsult.

Satellites Satellite Launches
India’s weather satellite INSAT-3DR launched successfully

India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, equipped with the indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS), on Thursday, successfully launched the country's weather satellite INSAT-3DR, into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) in its tenth flight (GSLV-F05). The achieved orbit is very close to the...

Satellites Satellite Launches

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories