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“India will be a huge broadband market over the next 3 years:” Rajiv Kapur

high-speed broadband pipes.
Multi system operators (MSOs) are
now working towards strengthening
their broadband services. While
Hathway Cable & Datacom was the
first to launch a 50
mbps broadband service on its Docsis
3.0 ultra high speed network in 2013,
Siti Cable and Den Networks were
quick to follow suit in 2014. Not only
this, several cooperatives that
mushroomed post the digitization
announcement, are also looking at
offering more broadband services. And
all this, to improve business as well as
their average revenue per user
So are MSOs in India taking the right
approach to build a broadband base in
the country? Broadcom India managing
director Rajiv Kapur tells
Indiantelevision.com, “I applaud the
MSOs in the country for what they are
doing. They are taking the right
approach. If anything, they should do
more of it.”
The satellite versus cable versus IPTV
is probably the biggest war in the
broadcast universe, where three
different ways of delivering live TV
compete with each other. “India is at
a very nascent stage for IPTV, and
that brings us to the satellite versus
cable TV war. Like in any other
market, both will co-exist with their
own unique offerings. Both have
existed with a large enough pie of
their own and both bring something
unique to the table,” opines Kapur.
Kapur believes that a reason why cable
benefits over satellite is because it
can provide a two way service. “While
one way service is very limited, two
way services are way more powerful in
customizing things to make them more
entertaining, or in gaming context
more interactive. Taking a cue from
what has happened in the rest of the
world, I foresee that the sheer desire
to remain competitive against
satellite will again lead cable to bring
broadband more aggressively in Indian
cable market. The market itself isn’t
exactly demanding it, so there has to
be a little bit of a push to create the
demand,” he adds.
Since Indian subscribers are currently
not aware of the advantages of a two
way pipe, cable operators will need to
start making creative use of the pipe
that gives two way cable services,
which enhances one’s TV watching
experience and not just leave it as a
pipe. “Even if it is left as a pipe,
there are still some benefits for cable
operators because the ARPU will still
be way higher,” Kapur informs.
Broadband will not only benefit cable
operators, but also subscribers as
there will be less capital expenditures
(CAPEX) and a lower total bill, if they
get the services from one operator.
“So everyone benefits and this will
happen whether it’s a sheer data pipe
or there are services in the data pipe,
which embellishes TV watching
experience,” says Kapur.
According to him, one needs to be a
little more patient with broadband as
India is going through the basic steps
of digitization. “As a country, barely
have we been able to figure out how
to get such a large footprint of
analogue converted to digital. It is a
very large market and that makes it
that much more difficult. One needs to
keep in mind that business relations
between broadcasters, MSOs and LCOs
are still settling down,” points out
The country definitely needs
a broadband push and now. Talking
about how it will happen, Kapur
suggests two types of push
mechanism. “The first push is much
easier and has already started, which
is offering a higher bandwidth speed
at aggressive pricing. This kind of
push takes a progressive operator to
initiate it and we have seen it
happening. The second level of push is
TV embellishing two way service. If
you fast forward into 2016, there will
be at least one progressive like-
minded large cable operator who will
begin showcasing interactive services
that others will either be forced to
follow or would want to follow,” he
Talking about the right pricing
for broadband, Kapur says that the
sweet spot of bandwidth and price is
between Rs 800 – 1000. “There is
always a package, which is above it
and there is a package below it. What
will happen with time is that higher
speeds will come at the same price.
This is the beauty of a competitive
market. In a year from now, at least
a few operators will start
aggressive broadband packages in the
market. The side effects of this on
other operators starting the same,
will take another year or two. So in
the next two-three years, India will
be a much larger broadband market
than it is today,” feels Kapur.
Delay in Digitization
Kapur believes that even if the
country sees a large percentage of
digitized homes and not 100 per cent,
is still a big step forward. “The only
benefit of 100 per cent digitization is
that one can do an analogue shut
off,” he says.
Citing the positives of the delay of
digitization, Kapur says, “The sheer
magnitude of what needs to be done is
very large. The delay gives time and
opportunity to MSOs, LCOs and
broadcasters to sort out their
complex relations and their
The pressure to complete seeding of
set top boxes (STBs) on time in phase I
and II saw many MSOs compromising
with the STB quality. “If we have to
deploy 50-100 million boxes, it will be
a shame to do it without keeping
quality in mind. This country shouldn’t
waste money in replacing boxes. So
there is a big positive in the delay as
now the quality matrix of what needs
to be looked in hardware procurement
will be left uncompromised,” he adds.
Pay TV channel revenues post
Currently there is fear in the masses
that prices of pay TV channels post
digitization will go up. Kapur feels
that while there is an element of
truth in that, it is only because in the
analogue regime, people were not
paying for what they were viewing.
“The second television was not being
paid for and people were slicing the
cable and taking feeds. So in the
bigger picture, prices will go up just
because of that.”
Citing examples from the telecom
sector, where high competition and
usage led to reduction of prices, Kapur
suggests that hyper competition will
force price control even in the cable
TV sector. “More services will come,
which if taken by subscribers, will
increase the ARPU for operators,” he
In satellite, DTH players have existed
since over 10 years, however the
country witnessed hyper competition
amongst players only in 2008-2009.
As the DTH market enters its early
stage of maturity, more services are
being considered and offered to
consumers. “All this took a decade.
Cable will not take that long because
the market is established due to DTH,
but it still needs to go through it,”
informs Kapur.

1 Comment

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  1. That is so True!!!
    Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said the list of 20 Smart cities out of the 98 shortlisted for the ‘Smart Cities Mission’ was released These cities will be the first to receive funds, thus kick starting the process of developing them into ‘smart cities’.The next two years will see the inclusion of 40 and 38 cities, respectively.
    I can already imagine the need and demand for broadband will rise in near future. Sterlite Tech has already initiated some of the government projects in creating the infrastructure required for digital services with the supplies like Fiber optic cable,DWDM,data cable,lan cable,cat cables for [u][url=https://www.sterlitetech.com/portfolio/telecom-infra]high speed broadband[/url][/u]

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