Switch Your DTH/Cable Operator Without Changing Set Top Box – TRAI

Interoperability of DTH/Cable services will be a reality by end of 2019

Switch Your DTH/Cable Operator Without Changing Set Top Box
Switch Your DTH/Cable Operator Without Changing Set Top Box

TRAI has clearly told all DTH operators and Cable companies that interoperability of services needs to be implemented, as soon as possible.

How will consumers benefit from this?

TRAI: Interoperability Needs To Be Implemented Now

During an interaction with the media, TRAI Chairman RS Sharma has insisted again that interoperability of DTH and Cable services is crucial, and they are working on it with full dedication.

Indirectly, he told every DTH and Cable operator that they will have to implement the same by year end.

As per Sharma, some technical challenges persist, which should resolve by year-end.

He said, “Since last two years we have been trying to make STBs interoperable. Large part of problem has been resolved. There are some business challenges (which) remain… we are looking at this to happen by end of this year,”

Giving an example of Aadhaar’s open source system and mobile interoperability, Sharma said that this feature foe cable TV users should not be an ‘afterthought’, but part of the development process.

He said, “Open systems are going to be the future. Entire back-end of Aadhaar has been developed on open source software except biometric de-duplication system,”

Switch Cable, DTH Operator Without Changing Set Top Box?

In 2017, TRAI had issued guidelines for interoperability of set top boxes, across India. Then TRAI Chairman Sudhir Gupta has ordered that this feature to switch set top boxes needs to be implemented fast.

However, since set top boxes sold currently are mainly customized for one specific DTH or cable operator, this feature of interoperability couldn’t be executed. Whenever a customer changes their DTH provider or cable company, they are required to buy a new set-top box.

Once interoperability of DTH services comes into force, it will save a lot of hassles for the users, and will give more control and more flexiblity to them.

Under the new cable TV rules, TRAI has already mandated that from now on, consumers can buy their own set top box, and not necessarily accept what their respective cable operator provides. But for that, an open source based set top box would be required, for which interoperability is crucial.

Cable Expenses Came Down For TRAI Chairman

Meanwhile, once again reminding everyone that from April 1st, 2019, the new cable TV regime will come into full force, TRAI Chairman insisted that the cable TV expenses will come down drastically.

Giving an example of his house, TRAI Chairman RS Sharma stated that cable expenses came down from Rs 700 to Rs 236, as they can now choose the channels which they want to watch, and only pay for them.

He said, “On an average, 90 per cent of people’s watch less than 50 channels. Even my monthly TV bill has come down from Rs 700 to Rs 236 per month.”

He asked all cable users to lodge complaints, in case they face any issues while changing to the new regime.

We will keep you updated, as we receive more updates.

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