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Karnataka cable ops association opposes NGN migration

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BANGALORE: Several cable operators in Karnataka are against migration to Next Generation Networks (NGN) as they fear it will threaten their business.

According to Karnataka State Cable Operators Association (KSCOA) spokesperson MVM Srikanta Dutta, the government had other important isues like healthcare and road facilities to look at than migration to NGN. Issuing a statement on behalf of the KSCOA at the TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) open house today on its consultation paper pertaining to NGN, Dutta said the association was opposed to the migration.

NGN is essentially an IP based network that enables any category of customers (residential, corporate or wholesale) to receive a wide range of services (voice, video, data etc.) over the same network. IP access is enabled across a wide range of broadband technologies, both wireless (3G, WiFi, WiMax etc.) and wireline (copper DSL, cable, fibre, power lines etc.). In NGN, the service layer is independent of the underlying network. A whole range of third party service providers, thus, can offer services to customers and the customer is not bound to take all services from only the access provider.

The Trai panel, consisting of Dr. Devendra P S Seth, Satya N Gupta, Dr. S K Haleja and Rakesh Kacker, spoke of the benefits that NGN would bring in to the rural areas, adding that probably some sections had probably not understood the significance of it. They cited an example of a cable operator who had adopted NGN and benefited greatly in Andhra Pradesh.

Karnataka Consumer Care Society spokesperson Gundu Rao (ex- acting CMD of VSNL) echoed these views, suggesting that efforts should be made to educate the concerned parties and the consumers to understand the benefits of such issues.

Many cable operators were not convinced. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a cable operator said the sector was feeling insecured from new technologies such as direct-to-home (DTH), IPTV and mobile TV.

The other major issues discussed on NGN were (1) The relevance and timing for transition (2) Regulatory approaches (3) Migration and (4) Technical issues.

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