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DTH News : Is DTH industry going the Mobile way?
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#1

It all started with Dish TV costing Rs 5000 as installation charges with Rs. 350 monthly subscription cost for mere 100 odd channels! Today the scenario is changed- After almost 7 years since it’s launch DTH industry is growing rapidly. We have Dish, Tata, Airtel, Sun Direct, Videocon, BIG (Reliance), Doordarshan and various other local DTH companies fighting to get a hold in this nascent market with huge potential. And as one can see the competition is actually going to the level of getting brutal- today we can see DTH companies selling Set Top Boxes for mere Rs. 800-900 with 6 months free subscription and that too when their balance sheets are still in red, even after a good growth rate.

airtel-dth-mobile

There are few similarities in the way DTH industry is growing and the way Mobile Industry was revolutionized. However, the situation is not exactly the same but let’s try to draw some conclusion here.

First check out the similarities-

1. Both the markets (Mobile and DTH) thrive on the basis of subscription number and their is no boundary when it comes to urban or rural subscribers.
2. In both the industries, ARPU is way low in India than industry standards across the Globe. But huge market potential gives a rosy long-term picture.
3. There are very big players competing in both these industries. Names like Airtel, Tata and Reliance which know no other way but to lead the market are making this competition red-blooded.
4. Subscribers enjoy the price war but get hassled when they see regulations such as “Mobile number portability” or “Set-Top Box portability” not getting passed by Govt.
5. Current price war in Mobile industry is making subscribers suffer with bad call quality and is relying on upcoming technologies like 3G. This doesn’t show a rosy picture. Same thing is going to happen to DTH industry too, quality of signal during bad weathers is already pathetic and I wonder what will happen if prices are further slashed.
6. In both the cases inaccurate Govt regulations can worsen the situation.

Now before we move ahead let’s also look at some fundamental differences which are there between DTH and Mobile Industry-

1. Multiple players joined Mobile industry only after it got matured, and when it was growing there were only couple of players viz Airtel and Hutch. Price war started when Reliance got in with it’s CDMA services. Players like Aircel, Unitech, Videocon joined the race [^] very late. On the other hand DTH industry is facing tough competition even at this immature stage.
2. Unlike Mobile industry, DTH industry relies more on number of “households” rather than number of subscribers which is a matter of worry.

To conclude:

* DTH can grow like Mobile Industry provided that Indian TV homes go from single TV sets to multiple TV sets.
* DTH faces another competition from Internet TV’s and it’s like their own parent companies can kill them. For e.g. Airtel IPTV is a potential threat to Airtel DTH.
* As far as pricing goes it’s a good plus for subscribers. But lower prices degrades quality of service combined with pathetic customer support.

Do you think that this competition is good? Mobile Industry is already reeling under pressure with ARPUs going down almost everyday, will DTH industry be able to sustain itself? Only time [^] will tell, what’s your thought on this?

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#2

Good Article... Thanks for sharing.

Yes the price war is already started - benefit to customers...
with the competition becoming too hot, the dth operators are adopting various methods to attract more customers by giving various offers. They even started splitting the existing Packs into small packs to show low rate to the customers...

And if the policy of select your own channels become practise, then dont know how they are going to re-pack all the channels... (In my opinion whatever changes are going to take place, it is for sure that DTH ops will somehow make their money!!)

However, as the article correctly raise a point that with competition gearing up further reduction on package rate, will the consumer get the good service?? Only we have to wait and see for the result.!!!

I have seen that still there are many people viewing their TV's with the local cable service, however with free dish/installation etc may be introduced in the future with a less package rate (giving regional priority), I am sure more customers will move to DTH...
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Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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#3
I Think the DTH providers has to give more options in selecting packages and better customer service.also best available quality in STB ,picture and Audio with 5:1 or even 7:1 atleast in HD service.instead of new offers for new customers they have to give this old users also.
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#4
(10-25-2010, 01:05 PM)Mr.Bhat Wrote: I Think the DTH providers has to give more options in selecting packages and better customer service.also best available quality in STB ,picture and Audio with 5:1 or even 7:1 atleast in HD service.instead of new offers for new customers they have to give this old users also.

Yes, indeed - I agree with you.
Presently, channel numbers are counting like 90/120 etc etc but how many of them are watching by all customers?
They should give regional preferance in the pack - no point in adding marathi or bengali (just for example only) channels in packs meant for south states- similarly to other state packs. It will be nice if they restructure the base pack with regional importanace and then '' add on'' or '' top up'' which one can go for as per the individual preference!!!!!
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Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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