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Indian broadcasters suck up satellite capacity

Bapun Raz

Staff member
3 Nov 2010
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Intelsat to launch four new satellites in next 12 months to boost Asia-Pacific capacity; sold out space on Intelsat 17 within three months due to strong demand from India.
India’s relatively new but fast-growing media broadcasting industry is placing a strain on satellite capacity.

The broadcast media market in India accounts for about 25% of the total Asia-Pacific market, according to Terry Bleakley, regional vice president Asia-Pacific at satellite operator Intelsat. “There are close to 80 million cable subscribers there,” he told Total Telecom at CommunicAsia on Tuesday.

There are close to 30 million DTH subscribers in India and almost 600 channels, he added, pointing out that the DTH market didn’t exist in India as recently as five years ago.

This growth is driving demand for capacity on Intelsat's satellites.

The company launched services on its Intelsat 17 satellite, featuring 10 new linear C-band transponders, in March. “We sold that out within three months,” Bleakley said, explaining that each transponder has 36 MHz of capacity, facilitating up to 70 Mbps of throughput, which is enough for 30 standard or 7 high-definition channels, or a combination of both.

“We are looking at what we need to do next,” he admitted, sharing a prediction from New Skies Research that India will be home to 850 channels by 2015, of which 200 will be high definition.

“There is the need for more capacity there,” he said.

And demand is not just coming from India. DTH services are growing in popularity elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, thanks in no small part to “deregulation in pay TV markets across Asia,” said Bleakley.

Four or five years ago India awarded six licences for DTH services, which were snapped up by big companies such as Reliance, Bharti and Tata. “We see that happening in Indonesia. It’s happening in Vietnam. It’s happening in Nepal,” Bleakley said.

Last week Intelsat shared launch schedules for four new satellites, which form part of its $1.3 billion Asia-Pacific investment programme.

Intelsat 18, which will enhance DTH coverage and network services capabilities to the Pacific Islands, will launch in the second half of this year. In the first half of next year the company will launch Intelsat 19, 20 and 21.


Bapun Raz

Staff member
3 Nov 2010
Reaction score
i think no............:)

but sure a credit to tata(sky dth.:)
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