TRAI wants set top boxes to be made interoperable

The lack of interoperability affects improvement in service quality, TRAI observed. P.V. SIVAKUMAR  

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has recommended that all set top boxes (STBs) in the country must be interoperable, meaning that consumers should be able to use the same STB across different DTH or cable TV providers.

The regulator also suggested that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting make the required amendments in licensing and registration conditions to make interoperability mandatory.

“The lack of interoperability of set top boxes between different service providers not only deprives the customer of the freedom to change her/his service provider, but also creates a hindrance to technological innovation, improvement in service quality, and the overall sector growth,” the TRAI said. It noted that while the STBs deployed in the cable TV networks are non-interoperable, those by direct-to-home (DTH) players complied with licence conditions to support common interface module based interoperability. However, in practice, even in the DTH segment the STBs are not readily interoperable.

Noting that there are technical and commercial constraints to the universal STB, it added that the interoperability should be platform-specific, i.e., STBs are interoperable within the cable TV segment and similarly within the DTH segment.

TRAI also recommended that a coordination committee be set up by the I&B Ministry to steer implementation of revised STB standards for both the DTH and the cable TV segments.

“Further, the committee may maintain continuous oversight for setting up of the digital TV standards by BIS to provide for Digital Video Broadcasting Common Interface Plus (DVB CI+) 2.0 port based on ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) TS 103 605 standards and to have provision for reception of both DTH and cable TV signals,” it said.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 10:18:17 PM |

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