NEW DELHI: Tenders submitted for set top boxes suitable for MPEG4 upgradation of the country’s only free-to-air direct-to-home platform DD FreeDish will be opened on 25 October 2016.
In an announcement, the Indian pubcaster Doordarshan said that original equipment manufacturers filing tenders for this purpose would have to be DD authorized OEMs to sell DD approved Indian conditional access system (iCAS) and firmware/middleware-enabled boxes.
Those applying would have to buy the form for Rs 10,000 and then give earnest money for Rs 1 million and deliver the STBs within a period of three months.
A DD official, who did not want to be named, said it was clear that DD will not be paying any money to those who are found suitable but will only approve their bids in accordance with the parameters set for suitability of the STBs. The earnest money was only aimed at getting genuine manufacturers, he added.
India is expected to have 173 million paid cable and satellite home in India by the beginning of next year and the official added that the exact number of FreeDish subscribers would be known when the Indian Conditional Access System (iCAS) system becomes fully operational. Since any individual can buy a FreeDish antenna and set it atop his house, it is difficult to indicate the number of subscribers.
A pre-bid conference would be held on 3 October 2016.
The application form, including technical and financial details, can be downloaded from website www.tenderwizard.com/PB. E-application notice is also available on Doordarshan website www.ddindia.gov.in using the link tender notice (engineering) or from eprocure.gov.in/cppp.
Earlier, indiiantelevision.com had reported that FreeDish had plans to add 24 new channels, increasing the number from 80 to 104.
The platform has space for 80 channels altogether, including its own channels and Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha TV along with 24 All India Radio channels.
Sources told indiantelevision.com that FreeDish is being encrypted through iCAS to keep a tab on the number of subscribers, but it would remain free-to-air.