TRAI issued a consultation paper on Interoperability of Set Top Box

TRAI issued a consultation paper on 11th November 2019,  on Interoperability of Set Top Box, TRAI asks for suggestions on set-top box interoperability

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a consultation paper on the official website www.main.trai.gov.in for suggestions on set-top box interoperability from stakeholders.
Trai looking for their (stakeholders) comments and counter comments for STB interoperability which allows customers/subscribers to switch their DTH / Cable TV operator without changing the set-top box.

In the present time, the set-top boxes offered by the network are non-interoperable which means a subscriber cannot use the same set-top box (Digital set-top box) with other networks.

In the paper downloaded by DTHNews.com from TRAI official website, the regulator said “TRAI has been taking various measures to achieve the set-top box interoperability including the stakeholders’ meetings/ discussions. The Authority also engaged with various technology companies in the broadcasting technology space for information exchange.”

Last Date for submission of comments: 9th December 2019
Last Date for submission of counter comments: 23rd December 2019

According to TRAI, India is World's second-largest country for the highest television viewers in the top 10. India has about 915 television channels including 328 pay-TV channels. The Pay TV channels have been delivering through various technology like DTH (Direct to home service), Cable TV and Internet TV. All the systems providing TV services through Addressable Systems (CAS) in the country.

In the consultation paper for the Interoperability of Set Top Box, TRAI mentioned in Chapter 2 that how consumer premises equipment  (CPE) plays an important role in the growth of any sector. A clear example can be seen by the telecom sector which has now a portability system.

TRAI has also mentioned the different-different factor leading to non-interoperability of STBs -

  • Different methods of EMM & ECM encryption
  • Different Modulation standards
  • Different compression standards
  • Different Operating System/Middleware and EPG (Electronic Program Guide)
  • Scrambling Algorithm

The smart card-based solution has been successfully tested in lab conditions using separate instances of CAS but TRAI has admitted that the field testing with third-party CAS solution is still to be conducted with different industry stakeholders.
TRAI issued a consultation paper on Interoperability of Set Top Box

With this new consultation paper, TRAI wants a response with detailed justifications for suggesting the most optimal and cost-effective solution from all stakeholders. Comments on this CP are allowed to be submitted till Monday, December 9 while counter-comments can be presented by Monday, December 23.

All the comments will be posted on the TRAI website www.trai.gov.in.  You can access this consultation paper from the official website.