TRAI recommends making Set-Top Box Interoperability Mandatory

On Saturday, India's Telecom Regulatory Authority recommended that all DTH and cable set-top boxes (STBs) given to customers should support interoperability, and urged the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to make it compulsory by implementing the required provisions. Interoperable set-top boxes would allow consumers without purchasing a new set-top box to change their DTH operator.

by Niranjani Jesentha Kumari Prabagararaj

Updated: Apr 11, 2020 16:47 IST

Tags: Gadgets Tech
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The STBs deployed in the cable television networks are actually non-interoperable — the same STB can not be used interchangeably across the various service providers. "In principle, all set-top-boxes in India must support technological interoperability, i.e. every STB supplied to a consumer must be interoperable," recommended the TRAI.

The TRAI also called for the creation of an I&B ministry coordination committee with members from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, TRAI, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and TV manufacturers 'representatives.

The lack of interoperability of STBs between service providers not only deprives customers of the freedom to change their service provider but also creates a barrier to technological innovation, improved service quality, and overall sector growth, the TRAI reported. The MIB will make appropriate modifications to prescribed specifications for STBs, the TRAI said in collaboration with the BIS. 

It said DTH and MSO players would be given six months' time to follow "DVB CI+ 2.0 standards (with USB CAM)" according to ETSI standards.
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