After the quality of service regulations for cable operators in CAS-notified areas, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has recommended a slew of service obligations for Direct-To-Home (DTH) operators.
Trai has suggested to the ministry of information & broadcasting that no amendment be made in the DTH licence that mandates technical inter-operability among different providers.
Inter-operability implies that a consumer can seamlessly migrate from one-service provider to another without having to replace the set top box (STB).
The regulator has stated that the licence conditions should be amended so as to cast an obligation on the service provider to educate consumers about "limited technical inter-operability of STBs with personal video or digital recorders."
Currently, India has just two players - Essel Group-promoted Dish TV and Tata Sky - in the fray but more ventures like Sun TV DTH and another by Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group are expected to come in. The services have about 3.5 million subscribers right now, and is projected to touch 15 million by 2012.
Consumers would also have to be informed of the platform functionality and services on DTH.
Modifications in the licence agreement have been suggested in multiple dwelling unit (MDU) technology wherein a DTH provider cannot insist on any exclusive arrangement for installation which is detrimental to other distributors. Obtaining a general permission from the residents welfare associations and societies won’t be sufficient as the operator would have to obtain written consent from subscribers living in a MDU before installing the service, the guidelines said.
"While this lays down uniform service obligations for DTH operators, some recommendations like that of obtaining written consent from dwellers in MDU separately could prove cumbersome," an industry source said.
Tata Sky came into this business after the TRAI's orders on the technical inter-operability came in to effect. But they both (Dish & Tata Sky) didn't seem to follow these orders. They are not willing to sell their CAM seperately. When is the ministry going to take action?
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