Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Digital Broadcasters | Bharat Electronics India Under Scrutiny

Domestic, Indian radio and television broadcast equipment vendor, Bharat Electronics Limited has come under strutiny in a recent Financial Express article.

The article suggested that under the Indian government's FM-II expansion plan in opening up commercial FM radio stations, the network owners have bypassed Bharat and have placed orders worth nearly 500 crore Indian Rupees (USD50 million) for transmitters and broadcast equipment with European and US manufacturers.

Some 280 new FM radio stations are being set up across 91 cities.

Bharat Electronics is the only Indian manufacturer of FM transmitters.

Well placed sources said that Harris Corporation and Nautel Limited of the United States have already received FM transmitter orders from Adlabs and Radio Mirchi Networks.

Rohde & Schwarz of Germany and Ecreso from France are reported to be also in the final stages of negotiations with other FM broadcasters.

The Indian FM radio equipment market was estimated to grow to over 2,000 crore Indian Rupees (USD200 million) by 2008.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has planned already a roll out for FM-III. This program is expected to see a further 700 new FM stations being offered for tender in smaller cities across India.

The Financial Express quoted Rajiv Mishra, President of the Association of Radio Operators of India (AROI) as saying: "India has become a hub for these manufacturers as nowhere in the world 300 new FM stations are coming up in such a short span of time".

The article did not speculate as to why Bharat Electronics was not invited to tender for FM radio transmitter and associated equipment.

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