The total provisional MSO licences in the country stand at 647 while the permanent registrations are the same at 230, as on 24 May. These exclude the MSOs whose registrations have been revoked even though they have got a stay order against the cancellation.
The new list includes two licences at the pan-India level. Chennai-based Whitefield Communication and New Delhi-based Star Broadband have received pan-India licences. Star Broadband earlier had permanent licence for Delhi. Most of the registrations have been issued for Digital Addressable System (DAS) Phase III and IV areas in states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Odisha, Jammu & Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
Hathway’s JV company in Chhattisgarh, Hathway CCN Entertainment, has received provisional licence for the state of Chhattisgarh. Hathway CCN has recently set up a digital headend to offer digital TV services and Broadband. The MSO is offering 48 HD channels for its digital cable TV subscribers in the state. Siti’s newly acquired company Bargachh Digital Communication, in which it has 51% stake, has received registration for six districts of Andhra Pradesh.
Morena Cable Network, whose area of operation was limited to few areas in Madhya Pradesh, has got approval to operat e in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Similarly, Alipurduar-based Udan, whose earlier registration was restricted to districts of Alipurduar, Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling, has been granted permission to operate in districts of North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Hoogly, Murshidabad, Malda, Uttar Dinajpur, Dakshin Dinajpur, Birbhum and Bankura in the state of West Bengal and entire states of Assam, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland.
Only seven months are left to complete the process of Digitisation in the whole country by 31 December 2016. It btakes at least six months for a new MSO to procure and install a digital headend, procure STBs for subscribers and get the SMS and Billing system running. It is very unlikely that the implementation will be completed by the yea r end but the Ministry is very hopeful.
A list showing the new registrants is given below. This also includes the list of MSO registrations issued in April but not included in the list published in the May edition of Cable Quest.