Imported STBs dominate market after cable digitalisation

Feb 04 2013, 16:36 IST
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SummaryForeign set-top box makers have benefited the most with India's policy on cable digitalisation.

Foreign set-top box makers have benefited the most with India's policy on cable digitalisation, having garnered around 95 per cent of the business, Industry body CEAMA said today.

"During the phase 1 and phase 2 of cable TV digitalisation, there was total demand of 26 million. Indian manufacturers of STBs have only secured 5 per cent of business so far. Phase 2 will end on March 31," Industry body CEAMA's secretary general Suresh Khanna said.

He said around 95 per cent of the market demand had been met through imports mostly from China and other Asian countries.

Out of total installation of about 55 Million units, domestic players have been able to sell about 10 Million units as on December, 2012, CEAMA said.

According to statistics shared by CEAMA with Department of Electronics and Information technology (DEITY), the import of STBs during the period of April to November 2012 was 10 million for Cable and 4 million for Direct- to-Home (DTH).

"During Phase 1, Indian players were able to achieve about 19 per cent market share but in second phase demand has dropped only because of pricing factor," Khanna said.

The indigenous production during this period is 0.3 million for Cable and 3 million for DTH against monthly production capacity of over 7 million unit. "Many Indian players had to close their production lines because there was no demand for Indian STBs," Khanna said.

CEAMA in a letter to DEITY has said Indian players are losing business to imported STBs due to price difference arising out of tax structure.

"At basic production cost of Rs 1,012 per unit, the final price of STB made by Indian players lands in the market for Rs 1,296.27 compared to Rs 1,202.5 per unit price of imported STB," Khanna explained.

CEAMA has requested for level playing field in the market for domestic players.

"STB manufacturing is new in the country and need at least two years protection to flourish. We are not asking for special incentives but a level playing field," CEAMA said.

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