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WWIL targets townships for HITS expansion
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With a clear strategy of targeting the 20 million-plus television consumers residing in townships and residential campuses of various government and public sector undertakings, Wire & Wireless India Ltd (WWIL), the country’s first Headend-in-the-Sky (HITS) operator, aims to add up to two million subscribers in the next 12 months, while competing with existing direct-to-home (DTH) operators.

WWIL, which has around 10 million cable subscribers (both analogue and digital), expects to invest Rs 300-400 crore over next year to expand its HITS operation across the country under the brand name “SITI Satellite HITS”.

HITS is the latest satellite-based cable distribution platform, recently cleared by the central government. The HITS operator uses satellite to distribute digital cable channels across the country at one go. The consumers have to use a set-top box to access HITS signals, that come at Rs 500 per box, almost one-third the cost of a DTH set-top box.

WWIL has so far managed to convert analogue cable services into digital cable at many government and PSU townships in North India, including the campus of the elite National Security Guards at Manesar in Haryana, the Hindalco townships of Renukoot and Renusagar in Uttar Pradesh, the IFFCO townships of Aonla and Bareilly (UP), the ordinance factory in Dehradun, Indo-Gulf in Jagdishpur (UP) and the Naphtha Jhakri Power Corporation. It is also gaining subscribers in towns like Shimla, Bhopal, Sirsa, Rudrapur, Sangli and Kolhapur, among others.

WWIL has also tied up with builders in Bihar to install HITS receivers in housing complexes at Patna and several other towns in Bihar to tap consumers before any DTH operator reaches them. “We are HITS-ready across 130 towns in the country. We are offering high-quality digital cable and various services at affordable pricing. We hope the government will soon come out with a tariff plan exclusively for HITS, to give us encouragement in digitalising the analogue cable infrastructure at a faster pace,” says Sudhir Agarwal, CEO.

WWIL is aggressively installing digital cable infrastructure in such locations to receive HITS signals. So far, no other company has applied for a HITS licence, even though several large cable companies like Digicable, Hathway, InCable and regional cable operators are looking to become a HITS operator.

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