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Bharti plans to foray into STB manufacturing biz

MUMBAI: Ahead of digitisation in
Phases III and IV, Indian companies
are evincing interest in
manufacturing set-top boxes (STBs).
The latest to join the bandwagon is
Sunil Bharti Mittal-led Bharti
Bharti is planning to set up a company
in partnership with an electronics
manufacturer to make STBs in India.
The manufacturing facility will likely
come up in Pune.
“The move makes sense as Bharti has
a direct-to-home (DTH) company.
Airtel Digital TV adds around a million
subscribers every year. Therefore,
the STB manufacturing plant will get
a captive order to start with.
Besides, Phases III and IV of digital
addressable system (DAS) will create a
huge market opportunity,” said a
In FY15, Airtel Digital TV, the DTH
arm of Bharti Airtel, mopped up 1.06
million new subscribers, taking its net
subscriber base to 10.07 million. In
FY14, the company had added 912,000
net subscribers.
Videocon d2h already sources its STB
requirement from a sister company of
the Videocon group. Dish TV, India’s
leading DTH company, is also weighing
options of entering the STB
manufacturing business through a
subsidiary company.
Recently, the $5 billion Brijmohan
Lall Munjal-led Hero Group acquired a
controlling stake in Mybox
Technologies. It has floated a new
company named Hero Electronix to
foray into the electronics market and
has announced an investment plan of
Rs 500 crore (Rs 5 billion) in the next
few years.
As reported earlier by
TelevisionPost.com, Mybox has set an
ambitious target of selling 1.5 million
STBs in FY16.
An estimated 70 million households are
to be digitised in Phases III and IV.
The foreign STB manufacturers have
dominated the first two rounds of
digitisation with 95 per cent market
The deadline for Phase III of DAS is
31 December 2015, while Phase IV is
scheduled to complete a year later.
As part of its ‘Make in India’ vision,
the Narendra Modi-led BJP
government is keen to open up the STB
market for local manufacturers.

Bharti plans to foray into STB manufacturing biz

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