India’s Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has issued an RFP to foreign satellite operators requesting extra transponder capacity in Ku and C-band transmission bands. There is a serious shortage of such capacity, including space for HDTV channels, but foreign operators are limited by India’s own licensing restrictions. There is a considerable waiting list of broadcasters looking to beam channels into India.
Indian television is reporting that Subhash Chandra’s Dish TV has already taken 4 extra-wide transponders of 54 MHz on AsiaSat 5 in order to boost its own standard and high definition signals.
Rupert-Murdoch’s TataSky DTH service is looking for a dozen extra transponders which ISRO has been unable to supply. ISRO supplies some of India’s capacity through its own satellite rocket launches and currently supplies India with some 187 transponders on 9 Indian satellites. A launch back in December 2010 was a failure, and a potentially new satellite lost.