Trai not for mandated Cas in rest of India

MUMBAI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) feels Cas (conditional access system) should roll out voluntarily rather than be mandated in other parts of the country.

"We may think of mandatory Cas for the larger metros but in other parts of the country it may not be the best way forward. We haven‘t, though, made up our mind on this. We have constituted a small group representing all the stakeholders to suggest on how to take voluntary Cas forward. We realise that Cas has gained momentum and wouldn‘t like to miss on that opportunity," said Trai advisor M C Chaube while speaking at a workshop on "Cas and Digital CATV," organised by Satellite & Cable TV (SCaT) magazine in Mumbai.

With some cable operators continuing to transmit unencrypted signals in the Cas areas, the broadcast and cable sector regulator intends to come down heavily on them.

"We are aware that there are still slippages and there are complaints that encryption have not taken place in some areas. We are going to take action against this as it is at the core of Cas," said Chaube.


Reacting to a suggestion from the three multi-system operators (Wire & Wireless India Ltd, Hathway Cable & Datacom and Incablenet) that Cas should be opened up to the other areas of Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata by April, Chaube said the process needed a certain run-up time. "Cas is not just about three MSOs. The smaller MSOs should be given time to prepare for laying out the digital infrastructure. Consolidation is bound to happen as digitalisation requires deep pockets, but as a regulator we shouldn‘t have such a time frame in mind that makes it difficult for the smaller MSOs," he added.

Trai would relook at such areas like pricing and a la carte issues in the middle of this year. "We are going to revisit at some of these decisions and take a call whether appropriate adjustments are needed. We would be examining such issues as similar pricing for all genres of channels, a la carte offerings and Rs 77 on free-to-air (FTA) channels," Chaube said.

The seeding of set-top boxes (STBs) would touch 500000 in a week‘s time out of an estimated cable and satellite home of 1.2 million in the Cas belt. "The average penetration would be 40 per cent. Kolkata is seeing slow offtake because regional channels are popular and they are in FTA mode. Our aim is not to see that boxes are sold but to offer consumers choice through Cas," Chaube clarified. The penetration percentage though will be clearer when figures are available on the number of homes that have more than one TV sets.

The next stage of progress would be when consumer forms return to the MSOs and they are fed into the subscriber management system (SMS).

In case of voluntary Cas, the crucial element was for the broadcasters and MSOs to enter into commercial agreements, he added.

In a panel discussion, WWIL MD Jagjit Kohli pointed out that Trai should come out with some regulatory framework to facilitate voluntary Cas and Headend-In-The-Sky (HITS). "Broadcasters may not support voluntary Cas. So it would be essential for Trai to define some rules as the momentum for digitalisation should not be lost," he added.


Hathway Cable & Datacom MD and CEO K Jayaraman pointed out that cable operators in non Cas areas should be ready to adopt digitalisation which has grown much faster in India than what was being initially preicted.

Incablenet head Ravi Mansukhani said the seeding process has been successful and the next step for MSOs would be to stop free access of pay channels in phases.


Latest Reads
India, China to propel APAC, beat CAS Europe market share

APAC is expected to overtake the market share of Europe in future due to an increasing demand for digital TV set-up boxes in countries such as China and India. North America and Europe dominated the global CAS market in 2015. APAC region is estimated to mark a growth rate of 12.0 per cent CAGR...

Technology Hardware Set-top Boxes
India lucrative market for 4K UHD STBs: Grand View Research

Here’s a view on the demand for 4K or ultra high definition (UHD) set-top boxes (STBs) in India.

Technology Hardware Set-top Boxes
Infor appoints Dass as south Asian subcontinent V-P

Infor, a leading provider of business applications specialized by industry and built for the cloud, has appointed Ashish Dass as the vice president and managing director for the south Asian subcontinent. Infor software helps eliminate the need for costly customization through embedded deep...

Technology Software Applications
Siti & DishTV opt for Conax conditional access

The Essel group has been using Conax’s tech for sometime now for its Siti Network (earlier known as Siti Cable). Now the group has extended that partnership for another product for both Siti Network and DTH operator Dish TV India. This time it is for the cardless set top boxes that the two are...

Technology Hardware Set-top Boxes
Imagine Communications extends functionality of Selenio One unified transcoding platform to OTT

MUMBAI: Imagine Communications, empowering the media and entertainment industry through transformative innovation, today introduced a high-density adaptive bitrate (ABR) transcoding product built on Selenio One™, the company’s software-defined linear transcoding platform. Selenio One is designed...

Technology Hardware Components
DJI Makes Your Smartphone Smarter with the New Osmo Mobile

DJI, the world leader in creative camera technology, Thursday launched the Osmo Mobile, an extension for smartphones that turns them into intelligent, precision camera systems.

Technology Hardware Components
Prime Focus Tech gets funding from PE firm Ambit Pragma

MUMBAI: Prime Focus Technologies (PFT) – the technology offshoot of media services company Prime Focus - informed the Bombay stock exchange today that it had received its first round of funding from growth capital private equity fund Ambit Pragma.

Technology Software Applications
Three new products developed by C-DOT launched on its Foundation Day

Communications Minister Manoj Sinha today expressed the hope that 100,000 Gram Panchayats (GPs) will be connected through Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) by March next to set up a network infrastructure to serve the rural masses.

Technology Hardware Distribution
Genpact and BITS partner to build talent in the field of analytics

Genpact (NYSE: G), a global leader in digitally-powered business process management and services, today announced a partnership with premier technical education university Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) for offering training programs in the field of analytics.

Technology Software Middleware

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories