TRAI releases recommendations on interoperability of set top boxes

The regulatory authority has been engaging with the stakeholders for quite some time for introducing set-top box interoperability

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Apr 13, 2020 4:00 PM

The telecom regulatory authority of India (TRAI) has today released recommendations on interoperability of set-top box for digital TV broadcasting services.
Presently, the set-top boxes deployed in the cable TV networks or non-interoperable, that is, the same set-top box cannot be used interchangeably across the different service providers.
TRAI has been engaging with the stakeholders for quite some time for introducing set-top box interoperability. 
In this regard, TRAI had suo-moto issued the Consultation Paper on 'Interoperability of Set Top Boxes' on November 11, 2019, seeking the view/response from all the stakeholders towards identifying appropriate solution to implement the interoperability of STBs. In response, comments from thirty-seven stakeholders and counter-comment from one stakeholder were received. An open house discussion (OHD) was conducted on January 29, 2020.
Based on the comments/inputs from the stakeholders, discussions held during OHD and on its own analysis, TRAI has finalised its Recommendations on Interoperability of Set Top Box. 
  • All set top boxes in India must support technical interoperability in principle.
  • MIB may include a suitable clause/condition in the permission/ registration/ Cable Television Network Rule mandating all the DPOs to compulsorily facilitate service provisioning through the interoperable STBs either provided by DPOs or procured by consumers from open market.
  • There are technical and commercial constraints to universal STB. Therefore Interoperability of STBs with effect from the date as prescribed vide the extant clause/condition, shall be ensured within the DTH cable segment.
  • MIB may notify through licensing conditions or amendment in Cable Television Network Rules 1994 as per the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, 1995 or through any other appropriate mechanism mandatory use of DVB C+ 2.0 standards (with USB CAM) as per ETSI TS 103 605 standards both for DTH STBs and STBs being used by MSOs from a prospective date.
  • A time of six months may be given to both DTH operators and MSOs to adopt DVB CI Plus 2.0 standards with (USB CAM) as per ETSI TS 103 605 standards from the date of MIB notifications. MIB may also coordinate with BIS so that suitable amendments are brought within this time frame
  • The authority recommends mandatory provisioning of USB port based Common Interface for all digital television sets in India.
  • Setting up of Coordination and Implementation Committee.

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