China's Shenzhen Coship plans to set up STB making unit in India

KOLKATA: China's Shenzhen Coship Electronics Co Ltd, a cable television and broadband equipment maker, plans to set up a set-top box (STB) manufacturing facility in India.

“We are planning to set up a set-top box manufacturing facility with a capacity to make 2.5 lakh units a month in India to start with and the scale up the operations on the back of demand,” Vipan Kumar Sharma, Country Manager, India, Coship, told, on the sidelines of Cable TV Show 2014, an exhibition of cable television industry in Kolkata.

"We will see and evaluate the benefits and policies of the government", he said.

Sharma further said the company might look at a place near Delhi, in Chennai or around Pune. “We already have our technical office at Chennai and our commercial office is in Delhi,” he said. 

The proposed STB manufacturing unit would employ about 1,000 workers, he said.

Sharma did not disclose the investments that would be required for setting up the STB manufacturing facility but said the average cost of producing one STB would be around $22.

Shenzhen Coship, which has already supplied 10 million STBs in India since 2007, is planning to export to India another 5 million STBs by the end of 2014.

The company's clients include Siticable, Kerala Communicators Cable Limited (KCCL) and Sun Direct DTH.

Sharma said it is also in talks with Videocon d2h for supplying its STBs.

He said demand for STBs in phase III and phase IV of digitisation would be the growth driver for the company in India. He, however, said in rural and semi-urban areas, availability of funds is an issue for the multi-system operators (MSO) and local cable operators (LCOs).

As per the Information and Broadcasting Ministry estimates, a total of 75 million STBs would be required for installation in the third and fourth phases of digitisation. The deadline for the third phase of digitisation is 30 September and for the fourth phase is 31 December.

Shenzen Coship has three factories in China with combined capacity to manufacture 25 million STBs  -- both SD and HD -- a year.

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