Trai looking to relax cable pricing mechanism once DTH kicks in

MUMBAI: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) chairman Pradip Baijal has expressed the hope that once the Tata-Star DTH platform T-Sky launches next year the market would explode with three players. It would provide some much needed competition to cable.

When there is competition, at least at the upper end of the market, Baijal said Trai could then look at relaxing the pricing mechanism for cable.

Right now the price is indexed to the inflation rate. Baijal stressed the importance of regulating the industry in a way that did not impede growth. The job of the regulator, he said, was to ensure that the market mechanism encouraged healthy competition. He noted that the cable model does not allow for competition at the home level. The argument that there should be two cable lines in one area that will allow for consumer choice is not a feasible solution, according to the Trai chief.

Baijal was speaking this morning while inaugurating the 14th edition of the cable television tradeshow Scat which kicked off in Mumbai.

As for IPTV, Baijal pointed out that while at the moment it is difficult to know about a viable business case, eventually internet streaming of television content would happen. It is just a matter of upgrading the network. He pointed out that at one time there were doubts expressed about voice calls through the internet.

To illustrate the benefits of a regulatory regime, he gave the example of the telecom sector. From 1948-1998 there was a two per cent achievement in teledensity. However, since then each year around two per cent has been added. He however pointed out that regulation takes time to take effect. Trai had recommended regulations for the telecom sector in 1997 and the effects were felt from 2000. Trai only started regulating cable television from last year.

He expressed concern that broadband had still to take off despite a broadband regulatory framework being put in place last year. He is hopeful that the rural telecom regulations that have been put forth will be accepted by the government. The regulations suggest among other things the setting up of a broadband mechanism for rural areas.

Trai has also put forth recommendations for unified licensing in the cable TV arena. If this goes through then technologies like set top boxes that are on display at Scat will be useful. The cable TV network could then be used to provide interactivity. Baijal said that the regulator recognises that cable TV, voice market and broadband can co-exist.

As far as the vexed Cas issue is concerned Baijal says that while Trai has put forth recommendations on the same it is doubtful whether it will come about as a government effort. It will need private operators i.e. cable ops, broadcasters to come together and work out a solution. He noted that in Chennai a special set of circumstances had enabled Cas to come into effect. Trai is till working on issues like whether clubbing together of channels should be allowed, he noted.

Latest Reads
Supreme Court questions MIB’s digital chatter monitoring proposal

The government proposes, Supreme Court disposes. Well, almost. Not fully yet. Though, the apex court has questioned a Ministry of Information and Broadcasting proposal to monitor digital chatter and online footprint, observing today that if done it would be "like creating a surveillance state".

Regulators I&B Ministry
Comment: Why it’s important for Rathore at MIB to walk the (sports) talk

He may have started the #HumFitToh IndiaFit campaign that went viral on social media last month and had celebs and plebs posting images of their health routine.

Regulators I&B Ministry
CCI reduces penalty on broadcast companies for rigging bids

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Wednesday waived the penalty imposed on Globecast and reduced by 30 per cent the penalty imposed on Essel Shyam Communication Ltd (ESCl), rechristened Planetcast, for bid-rigging in tenders for procurement of end-to-end broadcasting services for various...

Regulators TRAI
TRAI: Make STBs, content & telecom services disabled- friendly

With an aim to make communications and TV services more accessible to people with disabilities (PWDs), the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has come out with a series of recommendations, including a confusing one suggesting that 50 per cent TV channels to be developed in PWD-friendly and...

Regulators TRAI
Tata Sky mulls fresh petition against TRAI tariff rollout

MUMBAI: Indian DTH operator Tata Sky is exploring options of filing a fresh petition in Delhi High Court against a Telecom Regulatory Authority of India directive to implement a new tariff regime from 3 July. Industry sources indicated that though Tata Sky withdrew its petition filed in the...

Regulators TRAI
VCPL to contest SEBI order on NDTV share acquisition

Following the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)’s directive to make an open offer for acquiring NDTV shares, Vishvapradhan Commercial Pvt Ltd (VCPL) has decided to appeal against the order with the Securities Appellate Tribunal.

Regulators TRAI
TRAI says b'cast & cable tariff, inter-connect orders come into effect 3 July

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today issued a statement stating that its tariff order for the broadcasting and cable sector will come into effect from 3 July 2018 as judicial compliances have been complied with.

Regulators TRAI
TRAI fines Jio, Airtel, others for not meeting service quality norms

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) rapped leading operators, including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular on the knuckles for failing to meet the Quality of Service standards in the December quarter, reported news agency PTI.

Regulators TRAI
Comment: TRAI uplinks progressive recommendations; now MIB, others need to downlink them

The approximately Rs 1,400 billion Indian broadcasting and cable sectors, reeling under the impact of a slow economy and hemmed in by erratic policy-making, would be breathing a bit easy after TRAI’s recommendations on issues related to uplink and downlink of TV channels and teleports.

Regulators TRAI

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories