Regulators

TRAI chairman RS Sharma says STB portability possible by yearend

Interoperability was key to the success of the mobile business.

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MUMBAI: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman RS Sharma has said that by the end of the year, set top box interoperability’s is likely to become functional.

Speaking to news agency PTI, Sharma said, "Since last two years we have been trying to make STBs interoperable. Large part of problem has been resolved. There are some business challenges (which) remain... we are looking at this to happen by end of this year."

He added that interoperability in a product should not come as an "after thought" but should be in place at the product planning stage itself. “Open systems are going to be the future. The entire back-end of Aadhaar has been developed on open source software except biometric de-duplication system," he said.

Those who want to change their provider currently have to buy a new STB but soon they will only have to change the sim card, like mobile phones, for which the government is working on standard STB features.

He released a study on open ecosystem for devices in India, prepared by the Indian Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) and consultant firm KPMG, which showed that 89 per cent of mobile phones in the country work on open source operating systems.

Sharma further cited interoperability as one of the key factors behind the success of the Indian mobile phone industry where no subscriber is required to buy a new phone if he wants to change his service provider.

The report found that Open OS mobile operating systems have expanded the smartphone market in India by reducing barriers to entry. The regulator has been working for quite some time, to introduce a similar system in the broadcasting sector. This will provider STB ownership to the consumer.

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