Pakistan DTH licences to be awarded in December


Rebecca Hawkes

| 13 October 2015

Bidding for licences to operate the first three direct-to-home (DTH) satellite TV services in Pakistan will take place on 7 December after an initial application process, the regulator has announced.

At an Islamabad conference staged to inform interested parties about the licence auction procedure, Kamaluddin Tipu, acting chairman of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), said that the recommendations of international consultants, Swiss-based Digital Strategy Consulting & Service had been implemented to ensure transparency in the process.

PEMRA said 25 local companies, mobile network operators and international players – including companies from China and Russia – attended the conference.

An invitation to apply for a DTH licence was published in newspapers on 10 September, and elibility criteria, licence terms and conditions and application forms are available from PEMRA's website. The deadline for submissions is 6 November and a shortlist will be announced on 27 November 2015.

DTH provision will, says PEMRA, provide both investment opportunity and industry stimulation, both in terms of set-top box manufacture and content creation. A national DTH service will also help curbing the proliferation of illegal reception of satellite TV services from neighbouring countries.

The launch of DTH satellite TV services will also help achieve the International Telecommunication Union's call for the universal digitisation of broadcast media and distribution services.