Sky Brasil targets MMDS operator

Juan Pablo Conti ©RapidTVNews | 07-01-2012

Satellite broadcaster Sky Brasil has announced its intention to acquire Acom Comunicações, the company running the country's largest remaining MMDS (wireless microwave-based) pay-TV service.

If approved, the move would signify a nearly fatal blow to the MMDS pay-TV sector in Brazil. Unlike DTH – especially – and cable television companies, which have seen consistent growth during the past few years, MMDS operators have been suffering from ever dwindling subscriber bases.
Acom's pay-TV service, branded as Jet TV, is present in 14 metropolitan regions across Brazil. Industry analysts speculate that Sky Brasil (a company controlled by American DTH giant DirecTV) will be looking to migrate all of Acom's subs to its satellite platform. This would allow Sky to not only bring more consistency and simplicity to its pay-TV network operations but also – critically – reuse the 2.5 GHz spectrum owned by Acom to launch other services.
In that respect, all eyes are on the new 4G wireless broadband service that Sky launched last month. Indeed, the TD-LTE service, which at the moment is only available in Brasilia but the company is looking to expand to other markets, operates in the 2.5 GHz radio frequency.

The reason Sky was able to launch such a service was that, two years earlier, the broadcaster had bought another MMDS operator called ITSA, which (like Acom) also had a 2.5 GHz licence.
As a matter of fact, should Sky succeed in its attempt to absorb Acom, it would be the 26th MMDS company (and respective valuable spectrum licence) that the DTH operator will have acquired.
The 14 regional markets where the Jet TV service is currently available are Manaus, Sao Luis, Teresina, Natal, Joao Pessoa, Maceio, Aracaju, Cuiaba, Campo Grande, Ipatinga, Juiz de Fora, Campos dos Goytacazes, Volta Redonda and Santos.