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Indian DTH signals jammed by rival operators

Cable TV operators have been accused of illegally jamming direct to home (DTH) satellite TV signals in Mumbai and New Delhi and posing a "threat" to the national spectrum, according to the Financial Express.

"This illegal activity has serious ramifications for the security communications as this can be used to disturb the RF spectrum," reads a letter to security agencies from the DTH Operators Association of India (DOAOI), which represents India's six private DTH platforms: Dish TV, Tata Sky, Sun Direct, Reliance Digital TV, Airtel Digital TV, and Videocon d2h.

Signals in affluent areas of Mumbai and Delhi are being purposely disrupted to dent new DTH business in favour of cable services in the run up to metro digitisation this June, senior executives of two DTH companies have reportedly claimed.

"This is a serious problem. We detected a similar instance in Noida some months ago," Harit Nagpal, managing director and chief executive, Tata Sky and president of DOAOI, told the Financial Express. "Police acted and arrested the culprits. Now we see this happening in Mumbai. This is not only illegal, but should raise alarm bells for security agencies too."

Seven specific instances of signal jamming in Mumbai in the month between 18 February and 18 March have reportedly been provided by DOAOI. Each coincided with the transmission of popular events, such as India's cricket matches with Australia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, and coverage of the Filmfare Awards.

DTH services in India use Ku-band satellite capacity, broadcasting between the frequencies of 11 to 15 GHz.

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