Bharti receives LoI for launching DTH services

Telecom major Bharti Airtel is understood to have received the Letter of Intent (LOI) from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for making its foray into Direct-to-Home (DTH) services in the country.

The company, which expects to start DTH operations by March 2008, had applied for the license in April this year.

According to sources, Bharti has received the LoI for DTH services and would get the license within 5-6 weeks after completing formalities such as bank guarantees and license fee.

Bharti would be the fifth private company to get DTH license after Zee’s DishTV, TataSky, Reliance Communications and Chennai-based Sun TV. DD Direct is run by public broadcaster Prasar Bharati.

Zee and TataSky are operational and Reliance is yet to launch its services. With Bharti and Reliance launching their services, competition in the DTH would increase and may benefit subscribers by way of cheaper subscription rates.

Bharti Group has already floated a wholly owned subsidiary Bharti Telemedia for the DTH service and the hub for down linking and decrypting channels is likely to come up at Manesar in Haryana.

Reliance Communications and Sun TV have also got the license for launching DTH services. Recently, consumer electronics major Videocon too applied for DTH license.