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An Overview of HITS Operator in India

“HITS Operator”, widely acknowledged as Headend-In-The-Sky, is a broadcaster that abides by MIB* norms and facilitates multi channels TV programs in Ku and C bands (types of frequency bands) via;

  1. Satellite System to the cable operators
  2. The in-house cable network, if any, to subscribers on their set box after downlinking the signals at its respective receiving station

Note: MIB* stands for Ministry of Information and Broadcasting

If you wish to leap into this venture, you must secure a legal permit or license from the TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India).

Understanding how HITS operations take place

To better understand how HITS operation takes place, let’s dive into how a typical cable distribution operates.

  • In the typical system, the MSO establishes a headend- a master facility to receive and process TV signals for distribution purposes.
  • These headends enabled the MSO to downlink the TV channels offered by various broadcasters from several satellites.
  • Since each broadcaster uniquely encrypts its channels, the headend performs decoding of downlinked channels of each broadcaster.
  • Post this, the MSO bundles the unencrypted channels and then transmitted them to cable operators via fiber cable.
  • The cable operators will then re-transmit the signal to the subscribers via co-axial cable. The cable operators do not make any changes to this arrangement except using the booster to maintain the signal quality.
  • The system operates differently in CAS areas, where the MSO re-encrypts the bundled pay channels before transmitting them to the cable operators. Further, the cable operators transmit these to the end-user's set-up box, which decrypts the channels for viewing.
  • The HIT operators are liable to oversee the quality of service (QoS) and subscriber management system (SMS).

Therefore, the fundamental difference between a region-focused MSO and HITS operator is that the former facilitates channel distribution via cable connection, and the latter does the same via satellite, making them widely accessible.

Scope of HITS Operation

HITS operators can perform three types of operation:

  1. Buying the content and aggregating: This is how this operation works.
  • The HIT operator approaches the cable operators and buys the contents
  • Perform content (channels) aggregation at the HIT station
  • Uniquely encrypt the channels and uplink them to the satellite
  1. Facilitation of Passive Infrastructure: Under this, the HIT operator facilitates passive infrastructure to MSOs on its satellite. The infrastructure includes the resources such as earth station facilities, transponder space, encryption, and decoding device.
  2. Facilitation of dual services: Under this, the HITS operator renders the combo of services listed above.

Every HIT operator must secure permission from the Ministry of Information and broadcast via TRAI before commencing their operation. The ministry has penned down some stringent norms to ensure that only quality service providers stay in the game.

What requires to get started with HITS operation?

The applicant seeking legal permission to perform HITS operation must fulfil the following criteria

  • The entity that proposed to undertake the HITS operation must be an incorporated one. It must fall under the Companies Act, 2013.
  • The Rs 10 crore should be the net worth of the applicant firm.
  • Adherence to the FDI norms is a must.

Mandatory Documents to apply for HITS Operation Approval

To apply for HIT operation in India, the applicant must arrange the following paper works without fail:

  • Certificate of incorporation of the applicant firm
  • Charter Documents such as Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association
  • List of active company directors and shareholders
  • The shareholding structure of the applicant firm
  • Net worth certificate
  • Balance sheet (audited one)
  • Specification concerning the satellite
  • Specification relating to the earth station
  • Receipt concerning application processing fee

Process of Legalizing the HITS Operation in India

Below is the generalized licensing procedure for HITS Operators in India. Make sure to connect with Corpbiz to avail a better understanding of the same.

  1. Arrange the aforesaid Documents.
  2. Application filling.
  3. Application and Document submission to the TRAI.
  4. Application vetting.
  5. Grant of letter of intent.
  6. Submitting the entrance amount as cited in the letter of intent.
  7. Grant of approval in the form of a registration certificate.

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Frequently Asked Questions

HITS Operator is also referred to as a Headend-in-the-sky Operator, a service provider that uses a “digital addressing system” comprising both hardware and software. This setup ensures channel aggravation and encryption and then transmits them to subscribers via typical cable operators or Conventional Access System, which allows for direct channel decoding.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

Because of the involvement of satellites in their operation.

The letter of Intent includes the amount concerning the entrance fees for the proposed HIT operators.

Passive infrastructure resources imply the stationary equipment and devices that contribute to the operation of channel distribution. Common examples include transponders, earth station facilities, decoders, etc.

Both serve the common purpose i.e. channel distribution, both through a different method. Whereas cable operators rely on cable connectivity, the HITS operators leverage satellites for channel distribution.

No, TRAI approval is a must for this line of business.

In such a case, applicable penalties would come into effect.

Corpbiz has a reputable presence in the licensing regime. Our pool of experienced and proactive experts will take care of all the requirements on your behalf and ensure a prompt and hassle-free grant of license no matter how complicated the process or paperwork is.

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