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Bengaluru MSOs to start gross billing, packaging from April

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MUMBAI: The multi-system operators (MSOs) in Bengaluru are determined to do all that is needed to be in the good books of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The latest is that 12 MSOs met today in Bengaluru to discuss the status of consumer application forms (CAFs), gross billing, local cable operators (LCO) agreements and packaging to ensure compliance with TRAI regulations on digitisation.

“This was a coordination meeting where we discussed about gross billing and also packaging,” informs a highly placed MSO who was present at the meeting.

The group of 12 MSO will soon come out with a joint advertisement that will be published in Bengaluru newspapers and will inform the consumers about gross billing and packaging.

The same was done in Delhi when the MSO Alliance jointly came out with an advertisement in local newspapers on the issue of gross billing.

“We are looking at forming a joint committee in order to ensure that the guidelines set by TRAI can be followed,” informs the source.

The timeline to start gross billing was also discussed in the meeting. “Gross billing in Bengaluru will start not later than April 2014,” informs Hathway Cable & Datacom MD & CEO Jagdish Kumar Pillai. Another important issue raised was that of the LCO-MSO agreement. “There were discussions on the revenue share for LCOs, the package rates etc,” adds Pillai.

A Bengaluru-based MSO on the condition of anonymity informs, “The MSOs discussed on getting into a truce so that none of the MSOs infringe on each other’s subscribers. No decision has been taken on this though. The MSOs have asked for a couple of days to come to a final decision.”

Another point discussed was that each LCO has to pay Rs 90 per subscriber per month to the MSO for using its services. “Discussions on packaging took place, which should be in place by April,” adds the Bengaluru based MSO.

Earlier this week, Hathway, which has around eight lakh subscribers in the city, had switched off set top boxes of close to two lakh subscribers as they had not filled CAFs. “We had switched off 2.5 lakh STBs. This was to ensure that we comply with the TRAI guidelines,” concludes Pillai. 

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