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Devas Had Planned S-DMB Mobile TV Services; Notes From The Antrix Agreement

Given the uproar over the 2G spectrum scam, and the increasing concern over the S-Band spectrum deal by ISRO’s commercial arm Antrix with Deutsche Telekom backed Devas Multimedia, the Indian Prime Minister’s office has issued a statement saying that “no decision has been taken by the Government to allocate space segment using S-Band Spectrum to ANTRIX or Devas. Hence, the question of revenue loss does not arise and any such reports are without basis in fact.” Media reports had alleged that Antrix’s deal with Devas, a company founded by former Scientific Secretary at ISRO, MG Chandrasekhar, which had provisions for allotting 70 MHz of scarce S-Band spectrum, would have caused a loss of Rs 2,00,000 crore to the government.

Yesterday, The Hindu published what are allegedly, the agreements signed between Antrix and Devas Multimedia. You may download the documents here (we’re keeping an offline copy in case The Hindu removes them). Please Note that MediaNama cannot vouch for the authenticity of the document, and the notes below are based entirely on the agreement published by The Hindu:

– Devas planned to offer Mobile TV service: Devas planned to offer S-DMB service – a satellite and terrestrial broadcasting (mobile TV) service. The agreement allowed audio and video content and information and interactive services, across India that will be delivered to fixed, portable, and mobile receivers including mobile phones, mobile video/audio receivers for vehicles etc.

– Payment Terms: According to the contract, Devas would have to pay an upfront capacity reservation fees of $20 million(Rs 90.7 crore) in 3 equal installments. It will pay $9 million(Rs 40.85 crore) per annum as the lease for each satellite. The lease will increase to $11.25 million(Rs 51.06 crore) per annum when Devas becomes cash-flow positive..

– S-Band spectrum: According to the agreement, Antrix decided lease to Devas, part of a space segment capacity on Primary Satellite 1(PS1) and an option to gain additional capacity on (to be manufactured) Primary Satellite 2 (PS2) in the S-Band

– Transponders: Antrix had planned to lease to Devas 5 CXS transponders each of 8.1 MHz capacity and 5 SXC transponders, each of 2.7 MHz capacity on PS1. The capacity was leased for a period of 12 years,and was to be up for renewal at least 2 years before the end of the 12 year period or the anticipated life of the satellite. The renewal would be for another 12 years, at lease fees to be mutually agreed upon.

– Antrix Responsible For Regulatory Approvals: According to the document, Antrix was responsible for obtaining all necessary Governmental and Regulatory Approvals relating to orbital slot and frequency clearances, and funding for the satellite to facilitate Devas services. The cost of obtaining such approvals shall be borne by Devas. Antrix would also have been responsible for obtaining necessary frequency or regulatory approvals relating to lease of capacity for the extended period.

– Antrix and Devas will collaborate to build, launch and operate satellite(s) and Devas Services, and recognize that enabling Devas services and activities related thereto requires execution of interdependent technical and business activities.

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