The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) is expecting direct and indirect investment of $400 million through bidding of Direct to Home (DTH) licenses as well as more than 16,000 direct and in-direct job opportunities.
PEMRA is going to hold open bidding process to award 3 DTH licenses on November 23, for which 12 out of 16 companies have been short-listed.
During a background discussion, PEMRA officials said that the DTH auction will create 1,500 direct job opportunities and over 15,000 indirect employment opportunities countrywide.
Initially, the authority will issue license for a period of 15 years, which will be extended as per agreement. The official while talking about the DTH licensing and its impacts on the existing cable TV industry said that it will have overall positive impacts as even in the most developed nations of the world, DTH has captured up to 25 per cent market, while rest is being served by digital cable suppliers.
The base price for the bid offering is Rs 200 million, and DTH contracts will be given to the highest bidders. He added that the successful bidders will directly invest $150 million and indirect investment will be at least $250 million.
There are some three million consumers using Indian DTH and the government aims to eliminate it through local facilities and as a result around Rs 24 billion capital flight to India will be plugged. He further said that a Chinese firm has shown interest in setting up a manufacturing unit in Pakistan to locally produce set-top box for DTH and digital cable TV.
The Pakistani cable market is still mainly analogue, and most operators have not adequately invested in upgrading their networks, limiting their systems for minimum cost. The launch of DTH will be a game changer, a CPEC for Pakistan electronic media industry.
At present with the ongoing deployment of DTV in all signatory countries of the ITU-GE06 treaty, no valid argumentation can be developed to stop the digital transition, whether terrestrial or not. The cable operators will have no choice but to invest rapidly in their aging infrastructure.
Worldwide data proves that DTH is in fact not meant to launch a war with cable, but to cover large landmasses, where it is impossible to provide cable transmission, the official maintained.