Tata Sky partners with Thomson for set-top boxes

Gearing up for launch of its DTH service in mid 2006

Mumbai, India - February 16, 2006: Tata Sky Ltd., the joint venture between the TATA Group and STAR, today announced their partnership with Thomson, the world leader in set-top box technology, to support the launch of its Direct-to-Home (DTH) service in mid 2006. Thomson, well known for providing set-top box technology to leading DTH service providers across the globe, will manufacture set-top boxes in India and provide a countrywide after-sales service and support network for Tata Sky customers.

Tata Sky is investing in building a high quality digital infrastructure in the country to offer a superior television viewing experience to Indian households. The service will enhance the choice for viewers looking for the best of pay television services in the country. Tata Sky aims to become India’s largest digital television platform, offering consumers a wide array of programming choices with interactive features and superior picture and sound quality.

Mr. Vikram Kaushik, CEO, Tata Sky Ltd said, "Selecting Thomson as a preferred partner gives us proven high quality customer premises equipment, through which we can deliver our programming and associated interactive services. This agreement is an endorsement of our commitment to provide state-of-the-art DTH services in India and offer customers with the best satellite TV services available. Our DTH service will completely redefine the television viewing experience in India and our landmark agreement with Thomson takes us a step closer to our goal."

"As the largest and most exciting new DTH TV project in the world, we are very proud to have been selected as a key supplier by Tata Sky," said Koen van Driel, Senior Vice President, Satellite, Terrestrial & Cable Business Unit, Thomson. “In choosing Thomson, Tata Sky has demonstrated its confidence in the high quality of our set-top box products, our ability to deliver a customized product in a relatively short time frame, and our global development and support network."

Thomson's set-top box will be manufactured in India.

In addition to meeting the Bureau of Indian Standards requirements, the Thomson set-top boxes will have a feature-rich design that will enable Tata Sky to deliver multiple programming, pricing packages and interactive services to its customers.

The digital technology service of Tata Sky will eliminate many recurring problems that consumers face while watching television today. The DTH satellite signal will be uninterrupted by power cuts and cable cutting, thus eliminating instances of service downtime. Also, the Tata Sky service will have fixed channel positions and pre-tuned audio levels, which will improve the visual and audio quality of broadcast.

The agreement with Tata Sky marks Thomson's entry into the DTH satellite television market with set-top boxes developed and customized for Tata Sky at its R&D center in Bangalore.

About Tata Sky Tata Sky Ltd., a joint venture of TATA and STAR is committed to build a state-of-the-art Digital infrastructure for Pay Television in India. Tata Sky plans to introduce a nationwide Direct-to-Home (DTH) service that would allow it to reach every Indian home, however remote it may be. The service plans to offer its subscribers the best of cable channels, new innovative programming and interactive services.

About Thomson Partner to the Media & Entertainment Industries

Thomson (Euro next Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) provides services, systems and equipment, and technology to help its Media & Entertainment clients - content creators, content distributors and users of its technology - realize their business goals and optimize their performance in a rapidly changing technology environment. The Group is the preferred partner to the Media & Entertainment Industries through its Technicolor, Grass Valley, RCA and Thomson brands. For more information: www.thomson.net.

Thomson's Access Platforms and Gateways and Cirpack (AP&G) activity, part of the company's systems and equipment division, is a leading supplier of digital entertainment receivers to the world's major satellite and terrestrial broadcasters, cable operators and telecom service providers. It offers a full range of digital set-top boxes, phones, broadband modems and gateways with modular VoIP, IPTV and wireless capabilities. Through its Next Generation Networks business unit, Cirpack, it is also one of the leading suppliers of soft switch solutions to migrate telecom infrastructures to NGN (Next Generation Networks) and IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) enabling massive deployments of broadband telephony and IP Centrex, for instance. Products are marketed under the RCA, THOMSON, Speed Touch and CIRPACK brands. You can find more information on AP&G's products at www.thomson-broadband.com and www.cirpack.com