Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) may allow you to port to a different DTH operator without changing your set-top-box. According to ToI, TRAI has plans to make digital boxes inter-operable by the end of this year. It will allow customers to change their DTH operator at no extra cost in case of deficient services.
The inter-operability in case of DTH services has been a difficult for TRAI to implement. Operators and cable service providers have often shown high resistance towards the efforts. Speaking to ToI, TRAI Chairman RS Sharma said, “I am working on this. It will happen. […] Rest assured, we will make inter-operable STBs happen.”
The big problem in the inter-operability is every set-top-box has a different software and configuration set by the operator, and thus cannot be used for the services of a different company. But having a universal set-top-box can solve the problem.
Sharma, also said that instead of loading proprietary software, the boxes should have a method which would allow downloading of software post purchase. “For example, you can buy a neutral STB from the market and the instrument remains independent. Thereafter, whosoever is your service provider may load his software on the box,” Sharma said.
TRAI, which has new DTH guidelines in place, is in no mood to extend deadline for operators. The regulator’s new tariff for cable and DTH operators comes into effect on February 1, 2019 with the deadline for subscribers to choose their new channels as January 31, 2019. After the deadline, consumers will only pay for the channels they have chosen to watch. All the operators, including service providers, have been asked to comply the guidelines.
Following the issue with TRAI’s new regulatory regime, Tata Sky after a stiff tussle introduced new prices for the channels, and allowed subscribing of your favorite channels like Dish TV and Airtel DTH.