comscore TRAI finishes testing interoperable set-top boxes ahead of public roll out
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TRAI finishes testing interoperable set-top boxes, public roll out expected soon

The end of the road for DTH operator exclusive set-top boxes is here.

  • Published: November 12, 2019 5:06 PM IST
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TRAI has issued a new release detailing the progress in the case of DTH interoperability. The telecom authority has said that it has floated a new consultation paper on interoperable set-top box for digital TV broadcasting services. This new consultation paper is meant to invite comments from the industry stakeholders. TRAI is primarily looking to understand best technical implementation for accomplishing interoperability of set-top boxes in the DTH industry. Once implemented, it will allow subscribers of one DTH service to use their set-top box with another operator’s connection.

DTH Interoperability from TRAI is (almost) here

Currently, if you switch from one DTH operator to another, you will have to get a separate DTH box as well. With interoperability, TRAI wants to make it seamless to switch between service providers. The regulator notes that it first floated the idea for Set-top Box interoperability in 2016. A pre-consultation paper was followed by a consultation note on solution architecture developed by C-DoT issued in August 2017. The new release states that the smart card based solution has been successfully tested in lab conditions “using separate instances of CAS developed by C-DoT.”

“However, the field testing with third-party CAS solution is still to be conducted with different industry stakeholders,” the regulator added. It also adds that various measures to achieve the Set-Top box interoperability has been taken. It has met with stakeholders and has engaged with technology companies. When a customer buys a DTH set-top box, they have to choose a specific DTH operator. The set-top box needs to be bought from the DTH operator only and is exclusive to the operator.

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If you try DTH connection on your existing set-top box from a different operator then it would result in a failed connection. With interoperability, you would essentially be able to use the same set-top box across different operators. TRAI has announced that industry stakeholders can comment on the paper by December 9, 2019. The counter comments on the same will be open till December 23, 2019. Upon reaching a suitable technical solution, the DTH operators will be asked to implement the solution at their manufacturing of future set-top boxes. TRAI has made mobile number portability possible and DTH interoperability can be seen as the next holy grail for the regulator.

  • Published Date: November 12, 2019 5:06 PM IST