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India issues 30 new cable operator licences

India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has issued 27 new provisional and three permanent licences for multi-system operators (MSOs) to operate digital cable TV services.

Manthan Broadband Services was issued a permanent licence for Kolkata under Phase 1 of India’s digitisation process, for Howrah under Phase 2 and for Ranchia and all cities/towns in India under the third phase – which is due for completion at the end of December 2015.

Saptak Digital has been given a permanent licence for the entire West Bengal region, while Shirdi Sai Digital Network is allowed to operate in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana under the third and fourth phase of digitisation.

The total number of MSOs licensed to provide digital cable TV services in India numbered 399 as of 30 September 2015.

Of these, 226 have been awarded ten-year licences, while 173 are provisional as the MIB has not yet received any formal communication of the Home Ministry’s decision to curb security clearances for MSOs.