Friday, May 02, 2008

FDI call on satellite radio soon

15 Sep, 2006, 0138 hrs IST,Deepshikha Monga and Joji Thomas Philip, TNN
NEW DELHI: The government is close to finalising the satellite radio policy in the country, under which it is proposed that the FDI cap in the sector be lowered to 49% from 100%. This comes despite Trai recommending that 100% FDI be allowed in the sector.
This implies that WorldSpace India (the only player in this space in India currently), a wholly-owned subsidiary of US-based WorldSpace, will soon have to offload 51% stake to an Indian partner. India is the biggest market for WorldSpace and accounts for close to 75% of its global subscriber base.
The move to lower the FDI cap in satellite radio comes close on the heels of the department of posts proposing a similar step with regard to global courier players who have operations in India.Sources said the 49% FDI cap was meant to bring satellite radio policy at par with those for cable TV and DTH, which offer services on satellite-based platforms.
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