DTH Operators defying Interoperability clause

Hi all,
First take a look at this news item . For reference putting the same here :-

Mumbai: DTH providers Dish TV and Tata Sky have been playing around with the TRAI’s (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) interoperability guidelines, which require that the DTH operator must provide a set top box technically interoperable among different service providers.

The set-top box should also conform to standards laid down by the Government. At present, these standards prescribed by the Government incorporate, among others, MPEG 2 compression format.

Now there is resistance to a revision of standards suggested by Trai as well.

R.N. Choubey, advisor (B&CS), Trai said, “We have recently recommended to the Government that the standards should be revised to permit mpeg4 set top boxes. These would be compatible for mpeg2 transmissions anyways.”

As of now, technical interoperability hasn’t taken roots as hardly any consumer has reportedly decided to switch service providers. A reason, according to Trai, is that the prices of CAM (conditional access modules), which are needed to be plugged in the existing set top boxes slot are too expensive (almost as much as the set top box). The CAM is not provided by the operator.

Trai suggests the revision of standards be implemented prospectively and apply to DTH subscribers enrolled after six months from the date of such revision. Such revision should not compulsorily require the DTH operators to upgrade the STBs of existing subscribers to conform to revised standards, though they would be free to do so on their own.

The suggestion comes in the wake of Reliance’s DTH offering – Big TV to be available on a technologically higher platform-mpeg4.

Vikram Mehra, chief marketing officer of Tata Sky said, “Technically, all Tata Sky set top boxes are interoperable and do follow the existing TRAI guidelines.”

Vikram Kaushik, the CEO of Tata Sky, however finds the technical interoperability clause “ill-advised” said that it should be removed altogether.

Source: Hindustan Times

This is something which needs to be resisted at all costs. We, as consumers, want the ability to change services at a whim. Its the same thing which is there in the mobile phone. If there was no interoperability there, then one couldn’t just take any SIM & put in there. Technology is there, and I’m sure even the CAM prices would come down, sooner or later (i.e. if enough people come to know about it & how it can be done).

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One thought on “DTH Operators defying Interoperability clause

  1. Hi Readers,

    I just wanted to share my worst experience with “Reliance BIG TV” DTH Service.

    First of all I request everybody not to purchase “Reliance BIG TV” connection.

    Well, to start with I have taken BIG TV “Set Top Box” on 31/Aug/2008 “Invoice No. 0101038073” from one of the Main Web World, Mehdipatnam Branch

    I think initially as a company while selling the product, web world person has to inform me about all the future requirements from my side, but they

    have not given any kind of information.
    Actually, one Work Order ID is required in order to have installation for BIG TV, that we can get after calling customer care of BIG TV.
    But because they have not informed me that I hvae to call Customre care, it was delayed for 2 days, and by chance I called c.care for some other reason

    on 02/Sep/2008 and got my work order ID.

    Even after having my work order ID, I have not recieved any call from the Installation team for Installation, I raised complaint for the same also for

    so many times, but none of any use.

    Almost everyday for more than 1.5 hours I was calling c.care for any kind of solution and spoke to around more than 12 c.care representatives, to name

    some of them are :- Sheetal, Usha, Bhaven, Ganesh, Priya and so on and escalated the same issue to some of the senior members as well they are:- Rahul

    and Bhuvneshwari.

    Everybody was saying the same thing repeatedly “we are sorry for the inconvinience caused, it will be done asap……etc…..”.

    Till today, i.e. 12/SEP/2008 more than 12 days after purcahse of STB, I am still waiting for the installation…..??? and still have no update….

    One more intersting thing, I called c.care to ask “is it possible to return the STB because of bad services”, the representative straight forward

    answered “just go to the web world and return back the STB, they will refund the money”, they people are not even concerned about the problem and reason

    why I asked to return it back.

    Finally, I request everybody again PLZ PLZ PLZ never go for “Reliance BIG TV”, only name is BIG, everything else is small.
    For any kind of details or assistance you can reach me at “09966222601” or “akhilesh.davim@gmail.com”.
    Go for TATA SKY, DISHTV or SUN DIRECT, but not for BIGTV…….!

    Have a Good Day,
    Akhilesh Gupta,

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