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Becil to set up CTI in Mumbai by mid '10

MUMBAI: The Broadcast Engineering Consultancy India Ltd. (BECIL), the Information and Broadcasting ministry department is setting up common transmission infrastructure (CTI) for Mumbai at Worli.

Becil regional project manager H R Chugh confirms, “Setting up of CTI in Mumbai would enable the radio broadcasters to transit their content without interference. We are setting up the CTI at the Doordarshan Kendra premises in Worli and the project should be ready by May-June next year. We are in the building foundation stage which would take three to four months and then another couple of months for setting up the infrastructure.”

The CTI located at a height of 225 metres would almost double the coverage of radio broadcasters in Mumbai. Explains Becil director (O&M) Ishwar Singh Mehla, “Located at a height of 225 metres, it would expand the reach to almost 200 metres in Mumbai.”

Listing out the advantages of transmitting through CTI, Mehla states, “Operating from a CTI reduced the capital expenditure of the broadcasters while operating from different towers in varied locations. The cost of building, antenna would be shared by the players and would amount to around Rs three million annually. As the broadcast would take place from a common point and other parameters are equitable for every broadcaster, it would reduce the interference in transmission.”

The broadcasters will migrate from their individual transmission towers to CTI next year and discard the former ones. Mehla points out that it is accordance to Phase II policy that every broadcaster has to operate from CTI to procure a permission of operation. The broadcasters had complied with this clause by signing an agreement three years back.

Post Mumbai, Becil plans to set up the Common Transmission tower in Kolkata, the last city left after Phase II licensing. According to Mehla, Becil has set up 258 CTI in Phase II across 87 cities.

Touching upon Phase III, he adds, “With more frequencies opening up, Becil would provide its infrastructure in these areas. As these stations would essentially open up in Tier 3 cities, Becil would face challenges of logistical difficulties and non-availability of infrastructure.”

Becil earned a profit of Rs 79.2 million in the year 2006-2007 as against Rs. 22.7 million a year earlier. The turnover rose three-fold during the year, rising to Rs 986.7 million as against Rs 315.2 million in the previous year. Setting up CTI was a major booster for increase in the revenues of Becil. Reportedly, the company has orders worth Rs 1.83 billion for bringing up CTI in 87 cities. Becil had also submitted a proposal of Rs 977.2 million to the External Affairs Ministry for re-enforcement of radio coverage in Afghanistan involving medium wave and short wave hp transmissions along with studio centres.

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