Satellite television

India’s First Solar Satellite TV Service Brings ‘Magic’ to Villages | News | Eco-Enterprise

An Indian social enterprise has launched the country’s first solar satellite TV service, providing households and businesses with clean energy-powered entertainment through a pay-as-you-go system.

Simpa Networks, which began operations in 2011, is one of thousands of social enterprises in India that tap the renewable energy market in a country where a fifth of the 1.3 billion people do not have access to electricity. electricity.

With the majority of people without electricity coming from poor rural communities, the company focuses on selling solar-powered products such as LED lights, phone charging points and fans on financing for rural homes and homes. stores in northern India.

“We see a tremendous opportunity in rural areas where demand for energy is growing even faster than supply,” Piyush Mathur, CEO of Simpa Network, said in a statement.

“Rooftop solar power has a role to play in off-grid and on-grid areas. In many cases, it is the fastest and cheapest way to supply electricity to homes and businesses in rural areas.

“Simpa Magic TV” offers over 100 satellite channels with content ranging from comedy and entertainment to news, movies and music, and costs 25,000 rupees ($ 390) – the same as a non-solar equivalent.

The system, which includes 80W solar panel, 20-inch energy-efficient LED TV, battery, solar charge controller, is available on a repayment plan of up to 36 months. Interest does apply, but the company has declined to provide approximate rates.

We see a tremendous opportunity in rural areas where the demand for energy is growing even faster than the supply.

Piyush Mathur, CEO, Simpa Network

Customers make an upfront payment for the installation of the system and then use a pay-as-you-go model for electricity. Payments contribute to the total cost, and when fully paid, the customer owns the system and the electricity is free.

The service, which launched on Wednesday, currently has around 350 customers in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

Simpa uses its “SmartPanel” technology which allows remote monitoring and control of the roof solar panel. Customers pay in advance for energy and the SmartPanel supplies electricity until the expiration of the prepaid credits and the customer must then top up.

The company said the payment plan is effective because such technology would be unaffordable for most rural families. Without a credit history, most are considered “unbankable” and could not easily access loans, he said.

Since the solar television service is new and not many people know how to use and maintain it, the company said, Simpa has trained rural solar technicians who are responsible for installation, after-sales services. and monthly collection of payments.

This story was published with permission from Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, which covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit

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