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TRAI calls for interoperable DTH set-top boxes

Direct-to-home (DTH) satellite TV operators should work towards the interoperability of set-top boxes, according to the chairman of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

Rahul Khullar said DTH operators should provide receivers that allow customers to switch to another DTH service provider without the need of new equipment. Failing this technical interoperability, they should allow customers to return their set-top box and get their money back when customers decide to switch to another DTH platform. They can then buy another set-top box without being out of pocket financially.

The comments came on 10 December while Khullar spoke with DTH operators about the new framework for DTH licences, according to the Press Trust of India.

Some attendees at the meeting reportedly suggested that the Information and Broadcasting Ministry should now issue DTH licences for a period of 20 years, rather than the current ten years.

Guidelines must be redrawn by TRAI given the initial ones made no provision for licence renewal, and the ten year licence issued to India's first DTH provider, Dish TV, expired earlier this year.

DTH operators are able to submit written comments for the TRAI consultation before Friday 13 December.


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