(Direct-to-Home) to (Direct-to-Slum) to (Direct-to-Rural) By Sohag Sarkar


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A write-up on how Direct-to-Home (D2H) solution is increasingly being adopted by the urban slums and rural hinterlands of India

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(Direct-to-Home) to (Direct-to-Slum) to (Direct-to-Rural) By Sohag Sarkar

  1. 1. [D2H] [D2S] [D2R] Direct-to-Home Direct-to-Slum Direct-to-Rural By Sohag Sarkar
  2. 2. [D2H] [D2S] [D2R] Direct-to-Home Direct-to-Slum Direct-to-Rural By Sohag SarkarDirect-to-Home (D2H):The D2H market has changed ever since its launch in October 2003 (by Dish TV). Thenumber of D2H subscribers has grown to 26.33 Mn by September 2010 i.e. a growth ofmore than 50% over quarter ending September 2009. D2H is still in the nascent stageof adoption in the urban market. Though the benefits are promising: – It offers superior digital technology (with viewer guide, program information and active channels) – It provides flexibility to choose your channel packages (CAS is a given thing) – Its’ direct, thus avoiding any infrastructure deployment problem – Its’ mobile, people can carry along their antennae while shifting houses – Its’ global as the service providers are present across India (on can switch cities as well) – It’s unperturbed by the cable TV problems (cable wars, blackouts due to electricity or wire cuts, etc) Subscribers (in Mn) Sep-10 26 11% Jun-10 24 21 12% Mar-10 19 12% Dec-09 10% Sep-09 17 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Subscribers (in Mn) Source: TRAI Performance Report Sept’09 to Sept’10 (Subscriber figures of Private Players only)
  3. 3. Besides the free DTH service of Doordarshan, thereare 6 private DTH licensees, offering their servicesto the DTH subscribers: – Tata Sky Ltd. (Tata Sky) – Dish TV India Ltd. (Dish TV) – SUN Direct TV (P) Ltd. (Sun Direct) – Bharti Telemedia Ltd (Airtel) – BIG CBS Networks Private Limited (Reliance Big TV) – Bharat Business Channel Ltd (Videocon D2H)Direct-to-Slum (D2S):D2H i.e. Direct-to-Home started as an urban phenomenon with high-end set top boxes(STBs) ranging anywhere between INR 4,000 to 5,000. The same has fallen to almostlike INR 1,000 (some have also advertised “free STB” campaigns with benefits beingaccrued over subscription packages). The first gainers of the D2H introduction werethe slum-dwellers of the urban India. They have swiftly changed from the Cable TV toD2H. One can find umbrellas of dish antennae across the urban slums in India. If youare lucky you can also find one of the HD antennas as well.Direct-to-Rural (D2R):The rural India was not far behind in the adoption of D2H, as they have always been onthe look-out for entertainment. The DVD revolution in rural India has already beenwitnessed by us. Mobile handsets are also making a handsome entry into our ruralhinterland. Today, much of the D2H growth maybe attributed to the increasedsubscription of D2H in areas other than just metro towns in India. As per media reports,approximately 50% of the connections are coming from “cable dry” or “cable dark”areas i.e. the rural India. Fortunately, D2H can counter two mega problems of ruralIndia: Availability & Electricity. Satellite based technology eliminates the need fordeployment of infrastructure (like cable TV network). Also, the problem of frequentpower-cuts in one-to-many areas can be eliminated with the use of battery operatedinvertors (which wasn’t true with the cable TV network).
  4. 4. India always looks forward to “alternate options” to make life easier and better. D2His one such technological initiative that seems to be working so far.