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All satellite capacity in India has to be organised via the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) which has a monopoly on supplying transponders, and wholesaling the supply of capacity from non-ISRO satellites.
Last year TataSky said it would sue ISRO for not making capacity available. There has been a four-year wait for capacity, not all of it ISRO’s fault, as the world’s satellite operators have ordered and built new satellites for the India market.
Deepak Mathur, SES’ SVP for the region, speaking at a Casbaa-organised event on March 5th, said: “There is sufficient demand for investing in satellite. Also, we are ready to invest, but if the current policy bottleneck doesn’t cease to exist, satellites will stop dedicating capacity for India.”
TataSky’s CEO Harit Nagpal, also speaking at the event, admitted there was a growing demand for channels, and capacity: “And soon there will be a time when the expectation will go up to providing 1,000 channels. Capacity will be needed to serve this demand. While for now, with 12 transponders and moving from MPEG 2 boxes to MPEG 4 boxes, we are sorted for next two years. But, after that, as demand grows, we will need more capacity.”