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TRAI plans set-top box interoperability by year-end

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is moving forward in its efforts to enable television-set top box (TV-STB) interoperability, and it is examining possible solutions for the problem. The Authority expects to make some headway with cooperation from the industry by the end of this year.

TRAI has begun discussing downloadable conditional access system (CAS)-based solution to implement STB interoperability. Now that TRAI has rolled out a new framework for TV services, allowing consumers to pay only for channels they wish to see, the regulator believes that this choice also entails offering freedom to avail better service offerings.

Interoperability is a matter of importance for TV consumers in India, since STBs are tied to the respective service providers currently. When a consumer wants to change the service provider, they are forced to invest in a new STB, which adds a substantial cost burden. Older STBs also remain unused after such a transition.

The Authority is now working with system integrators, vendors, CAS providers, and other stakeholders for technical discussions, and detailed consultations will be followed by a proof-of-concept test. It also hopes that the involvement of the industry stakeholders would help in developing acceptable solution for STB interoperability by the year-end.

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