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Game of the DTH license auction in Pakistan

After the announcement by the Government to proceed with the direct license auction Home (DTH), cable operators announced Union (COF) plans to go on strike for the November 21, Monday at 19:00. It is also expected to be held protests in front of PEMRA office in Islamabad with some cable companies threatening to close down the cable services in revenge.

What is the difference between DTH and Cable TV?

Cable TV is analog connection while DTH is a connection via digital satellite. DTH offers better audio and video quality compared with cable TV. Cable TV does not provide any interactive services while offering direct services to homes enhanced interactive TV services, including Internet access, e-mail, video conferencing, movies on demand. Also, the provision of cable connection via cable, while DTH small antenna connected directly to the uses satellite signals. Pakistani cable operators suffer from heavy losses in the event of DTH has not taken place for cable TV.

COF representatives say that the government’s plan to auction licenses DTH will announce the actual end of the cable business in Pakistan, the sinking of their investments and may affect employment and income for thousands of families. Some cable providers are demanding the postponement of 5 years or more, giving them time to plan and recover their investments by DTH and high-definition channels take over. It has already been delayed licensing DTH / postponed twice before.

There was no official word from the PEMRA on the recent announcement of the COF, it is expected to go as planned on November 23, the license auction Wednesday. It is expected to bring in large investments in the Pakistani media services direct-to-home plan, expected to reckon with the looming around $ 400 million mark.

Currently according to plan, PEMRA will be offered three licenses for 12 potential buyers. Each license will be issued for an initial period of 15 years with the terms of the extension to allow companies to renew their licenses at the end of this term. It includes 12 companies shortlisted group of manufacturing and service companies with both domestic and foreign interest. While PEMRA has banned direct investment from media companies (to thwart any attempts to monopolize), it has not stopped them from seeking to establish partnerships and the creation of subsidiaries (fronts) to get the game DTH.

With PEMRA to allow foreign partnerships and investments, and the second round of the short list is likely to follow after the auction. The companies will be evaluated for technical reasons to ensure the benefit from this process go directly to the consumer. This is the reason that the highest bid is not enough, or the allocation of security license.

Eliminate the process of the initial short list of Internet service providers, LINKdotNET Pakistan and communications global appeal, see the broadcast feed and Sheriff Mills (Pvt.) Ltd., with the most recent shock exit. Here is what we know about the remaining 12 participants:

  • M/s. Orient Electronics (Pvt.) Ltd., Lahore (incorporated August 23, 2005)
    Part of the Orient Group of Companies – Manufactures / gather household appliances and consumer electronics.
  • M/s. MAG Entertainment (Private) Limited, Lahore. (Incorporated March 18, 2016)
    Newly formed. No information available.
  • M/s. Sardar Builders (Private) Limited, Islamabad. (Incorporated April 20, 2004)
    The company Partner Tamimi Group, Saudi Arabia – responsible for Centaurus Mall, Islamabad.
  • M/s. Skyflix (Private) Limited, Islamabad. (Incorporated August 2, 2016)
    Newly formed. No information available.
  • M/s. Startimes Communications (Private) Limited, Islamabad. (Incorporated November 11, 2015)
    StarTimes part of the group, China – a large broadcasting and TV set.
  • M/s. Smart Sky (Private) Limited, Islamabad. (Incorporated October 12, 2015)
    Part of the communications and PTCL Pakistan – responsible for providing television PTCL applications. Already claim to be the DTH operator in Pakistan, on its Web site (with a pending auction).
  • M/s.. PARUS Media and Information (Private) Limited, Islamabad. (Incorporated March 27, 2013)
    A joint venture between Capital DTH, Pakistan, GS Group and Russia and digital SatTV, Pakistan. Both participated in the JV Pakistani companies in the cable and / or business SatBox in Pakistan.
  • M/s. New Aviv (Private) Limited, Islamabad. (Integration of May 6, 2004)
    DSL private company in Pakistan, which has expanded its portfolio to include services as well as cable (Islamabad).
  • M/s. Mastro distribution media (Private) Limited, Islamabad. (Incorporated October 16, 2015)
    Newly formed. No information available.
  • M/s. Shahzad Sky (Private) Limited, Islamabad (incorporated August 10, 2012)
    CGG part of the French group. Invested in various projects.
  • M/s. HB DTH (Private) Limited, Islamabad. (Integration of November 3, 2015)
    Newly formed. No information available.

Writer’s Pick
Among competing companies, it is difficult to choose three candidates and clear, but given the investment and technology requires the Middle Electronics has chosen the option a viable one (Disclaimer: I work for a group Orient). The company has expertise in the field of consumer electronics manufacturing, therefore, can take advantage of its hardware capabilities to provide a reliable solution on the market (with the after after-sales service) plan. It is likely that import boxes made in China or other companies.

The second contender, in my opinion, should be Startimes, China. Startimes picked up on other groups of foreign investments due to the company’s experience in the distribution of media. The company is likely to be the strongest wise investment as well.

My last choice is Sardar Builders, a group funded by Saudis just because of the pure financial strength of the group. The company has been responsible for some of the most exciting projects in Pakistan and has a very good chance to compete for most of the other participants to win the license.

How do you feel about our choices? Send us your own arguments in the comments below, and remember, no matter which company wins, the real winner is the consumer.

About S sauleh

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