As per Gartner recent research, “Lack of digital business competence will cause 25 percent of businesses to lose competitive ranking by 2017.”
The above research finding was not made exclusive to MSO Cable Industry in India, but it has relevance for it as well.
GOI has paved the way for growth for Cable /MSO players by putting Regulation on Digitization of Cable TV services in India in 2012.While policy makers are refining the ground rules regularly, it has given an opportunity for Indian MSO to embark into the journey of providing services likes of leading service providers in the world, and bench marking their service like Industry leaders across the world-Comcast, Time Warner, Dish TV etc.
Though India being the late entrant in the journey of digitization, in last three years MSO Industry has seen many hurdles in putting the processes, laying uniform policies, strengthening the Cable TV value chain (MSO-LCO), defining tax regime and so on, but the core objective remain unlocking the potential of industry to lead and build better customer services.
Phase-1 and Phase-2 of Digitization saw few leaders from MSO industry being the early movers in putting system in place through modernization of IT systems. However the larger benefits goes to STB suppliers and manufactures in cashing the digitization opportunity, which saw many analyst and investors putting their money into the market. I would term this phase as Digitization 1.0, which would be attributed to STB supplier or manufactures, thus enabling MSO to put STB at homes. This phase did not see much changes in service differentiation to end consumers, which is eminent from even after phase-1/phase-2 completion, end users are yet to get personalized services and many MSO/LCO hasn't started giving monthly subscription bills/invoices to end consumers.
With the extended Digitization deadline across India now, Digitization 2.0 seems to be shaping the MSO Industry for next leg of digitization. This would largely be focused toward completion of pending digitization for phase-3 and phase-4.These phases cover majorly rural and small town/cities across India. Phase-3/Phase-4 consumers are more cost sensitive than the consumers of Phase-1/Phase-2. With the “Digital India” or “Make in India” initiative now by GOI, Digitization 2.0 should see more focus of local STB manufacturing, this curbing the cost of STB’s, with “made in India” stamp on STBs put in Indian houses now.This should also lowers the burdun on end customer while transitioning into digital system.
Digitization 3.0 would foresee many MSO realizing the next generation services, Industry consolidation and higher business value for MSO. This phase would pertain to the real transformation for MSO Industry in India. This seems to be a distinct possibility in near future, however the foundation has been laid and early steps has been taken by all stakeholders( Government, Industry Players, Investors etc.), a focused and sustained effort might see this happening in three to five years time!!