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TRAI-India insists on STB interoperability for digital services

In a bid to boost pay-TV competition, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a solution architecture consultation note for technical interoperability on set-top boxes used in digital TV broadcasting services.

Presently the STBs deployed in networks around the country are non-interoperable, meaning that the same STB cannot be used interchangeably across the different service providers. TRAI believes that this lack of interoperability of STBs between different service providers has not only compromised the competition in the pay-TV market but is also acting as a major hindrance to technological innovation, improvement in service quality, and sector growth.

To address this issue, it says that it is in the process of laying down a framework of interoperable STBs whereby subscribers would be able to change its service provider without any need to re-invest in a new box. The solution architecture was formulated by the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT), the telecom technology development centre of the Government of India, in close coordination with TRAI. Crucially, the framework also ensures that existing STBs deployed will continue to work without any interruption.