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India to switch-off analogue TV by end 2023

India’s communications regulator is advising a phased programme for the implementation of digital terrestrial TV (DTT) in metro cities from 2019, and the entire country by the end of 2023.

Following a six-month consultation, The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has announced four private players should be permitted to provide DTT services alongside public service broadcaster Doordarshan in any one service area “to ensure plurality and competition in the market”.

A total of seven DTT transmitters will likely be allowed in a particular service area, enabling a platform to provide services such as standard and high definition TV, mobile TV, and value added services.

Comprehensive frequency planning for the roll out of a DTT broadcast network should be undertaken by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in consultation with the Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing of the Department of Telecommunications and other technical agencies, the regulator recommended.

TRAI also advises a minimum overlap of three months as simulcast period for migration from analogue to digital transmission, before analogue signals are switched off.