HI friend,
new information about Sky Tata DTH.


# Pre-paid cards for subscription bouquets
# Financing package for hardware

CHENNAI: Tata Sky Ltd, which is set to roll out its DTH (direct to home) telecast service across the country latest by July, is banking on a volume-driven and customer-service-based business growth rather than on premium pricing, it is learnt.

The company, in which the world's leading media major, News Corporation of Rupert Murdoch, is a partner through Star India, plans to combine the superior digital quality that goes with the DTH with a business model that is tailored to suit Indian conditions to score over the well-entrenched cable TV system which delivers poorer quality analogue signals which too often get distorted in the process of transmission through low quality wires in the last mile.

For instance, Tata Sky is planning to create a hassle-free payment system whereby subscribers can buy pre-paid SIM cards of various denominations in thousands of outlets, modelling itself on the success of mobile cellular service providers in the country. India is said to be an exception in the cellular system, where worldwide post-paid subscription is much more popular than pre-paid ones.

What is more, Tata Sky will offer a financial package for purchase of hardware, though from cost considerations, consumers are known to look at the recurring payment more than the one-time investment in hardware like antenna and the set-top box. The financing package, combined with a tariff structure that carries only a moderate premium -- varying from 25 per cent to 50 per cent - over the tariff of cable service providers, is expected to drive volumes for Tata Sky's DTH rollout.

Besides, apartment blocks, which are booming in the wake of the expansion of the upper middle class and the real estate sector, are likely to be offered the facility of installing a common antenna to avoid marring of the skyline by numerous individual antennas.

The company is likely to mount an awareness on the inherent advantages of the DTH system. These include the scope for consumers to deal directly with the system operator instead of through an intermediary who is not accountable for availability or otherwise of some channels in the wake of disputes and the lower chances of disruption of service from power failure at the last mile service provider's end.