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Tata Sky has spectrum glut, adding five more HD channels

MUMBAI: Leading DTH operator Tata Sky is reportedly planning to add five more HD channels and take its total high-definition offering to 86. DTH operators in India mostly provide only 45-65 HD channels, while cable operators provide between 30-50 HD channels.

The channels that are reportedly being added are MTV HD+, Surya (Malayalam), DSports, Udaya (Kannada) and Gemini Movies (Telugu). With 86 HD channels, the operator plans to further consolidate its position as the largest provider of high-definition content in India. Tata Sky hugely benefitted owing to an oversupply of spectrum after one of ISRO’s satellites failed to ‘terminate’ as scheduled.

In the Indian subcontinent content delivery, Tata Sky was reportedly using 432 MHz of spectrum on INSAT-4A and was backing Dish TV, which had 648 MHz and Videocon D2h, which has 540 MHz. INSAT-4A was expected to reach ‘end of life’ this year, for whose replacement ISRO sent GSAT-10 to the same orbit.

Both satellites however are working simultaneously. Owing to ISRO's reported dilemma of neither being able to sell capacity on its new satellite nor on the old (about to die) satellite to a new player, Tata Sky has been allowed to use both satellites, and adds up to about 828 MHz of spectrum at its disposal, which is almost two times of what DTH operators have in India.

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