Trai has floated many consultation papers in the last few months and some of these target major consumer issues in the DTH and telecom industry
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had the major responsibility of implementing the new tariff regime and the regulatory framework in the DTH industry in the first half of the calendar year. However, now that the first half of the year is over, Trai has moved onto other major issues that are currently present in the industry. To target these issues and to rectify them, the regulator is taking the path of consultation papers which it has been putting out back to back.
In the past few months, we have seen some major consultation papers by Trai which if implemented as is, or with rectifications will drastically bring changes in the DTH and telecom industry. Here are some of the significant proposals from Trai which are being discussed.
Fixing of Trai Tariff Regime
The most notable consultation paper of all which Trai has introduced in the public domain is the one which talks about fixing the issues with the new Trai tariff regime. In this paper, Trai has talked about the bouquet channel packs which offer massive discounts and encourage the bouquet selection more than individual channel selections. However, as per the inputs on this paper, the consequences following the moves would be harsh for small broadcasters and TV channels as they currently benefit from being included in bundled channel packs. Whereas, for the consumers, it is likely to make channel packs a little cheaper.
Use of Same Number for Landline and Mobile Phones
Trai has also floated a paper on the development of a unified numbering system. This has been done because of the scarce numbering resources available in the country. Under this, Trai has been ideating whether or not the same number can be used for landline and mobile services. If gone through, the subscribers will be able to have more ease accessing the same number on two instruments. Further, for the industry as well this would be pragmatic use of the numbering resources available right now.
Set-Top Box Interoperability
Another major consultation paper which has been brewing for some time now is about set-top box interoperability. Among all the papers included in this list, this is perhaps the one which will save the DTH subscribers most money as with STB interoperability they won’t have to buy a different set-top box every time they switch a DTH operator. This will save a lot of money and hassle for the subscribers and will make a level playing field for the DTH companies as the STB price will no longer be a decisive factor while choosing DTH operators.
Third Party Application for Channel Selection
Trai had also floated this paper a few weeks back in the DTH industry, but it was vehemently opposed by the industry stakeholders and the DTH companies saying that such an application would pose a threat to data security and would be redundant. But, if Trai is able to overcome these issues and develops a third-party-app for channel selection, then subscribers of all DTH companies will be able to select channels from a single avenue.