Regulators

MIB grants provisional licences to 12 MSOs as DAS Phase III gets going

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NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has granted provisional licences to another 12 multi system operators (MSOs) after 1 January, 2016 in a bid to help expedite the implementation of Phase III of digital addressable system (DAS) in all urban areas in the country.

The number of MSOs that have received provisional licences has now gone up to 424, from 412 on 1 January, which had proved lucky for 30 MSOs as they got their provisional licences in a single day. In fact, once again, all the 12 MSOs got their licences on a single day – 12 January. So far, January has seen as many as 42 MSOs getting provisional licences.

An earlier list had put the figure at 382 provisional licensees on 31 December, 2015 the day the analogue signals were to be switched off, showing 45 new MSOs had been added in the last fortnight of 2015.

Adding to the 230 who have 10-year permanent licences, the total number of registered MSOs now goes up to 654.

While the MIB website did not display the number of permanent licensees, indicating that the number remains at 230 as it has remained since 20 November.

With the Home Ministry directive about doing away with security clearances for MSOs not being communicated in writing to the MIB, the pace remains slow.

The new licensees covering 11 states include one MSOs in the northeast for Tripura, but it also includes two MSOs in Tamil Nadu and one in Chhattisgarh where DAS Phase III remains stayed.

The other states covered include states like Haryana, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Padesh, and Kerala.

The number of MSOs was 612 on 31 December, 567 in mid-December, 553 by 24 November and 470 earlier in November, but this increase was merely in those who have provisional licences.

Sources said many MSOs holding provisional licences had not completed certain formalities relating to shareholders and so on.

 

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