TRAI moves to ease chronic shortage of TV set-top boxes
28 May 2013
As India prepares to shift to fully digitalised TV services, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today issued new tariff orders to overcome the chronic shortage of set-top boxes.
In a statement from New Delhi, TRAI said the objective of these tariff orders – which prescribe a standard tariff package for STBs for digital cable TV and CPE for direct-to-home (DTH) services - is to ensure effective commercial inter-operability.
Tariff orders have been devised to make available STBs and CPEs, which are needed to receive TV signals for cable and DTH TV services, at reasonable prices as well as to take care of the interests of the service providers, TRAI said.
Under the new orders, cable TV operators and DTH service providers can provide different STBs and CPEs to consumers with varying rental and security deposit plans.
The order gives options as per which cable service providers can provide the STBs at a monthly rent of Rs55.66 or Rs50.66 (excluding taxes) if the security deposit is Rs400 or Rs800 respectively.
In case of DTH service providers, the CPE can be offered at a monthly rental of Rs71.75 if the security deposit is Rs500 and Rs65.50 if the security deposit is Rs1,000.
The security deposit will be refunded to subscribers at the end of three years and the STB or CPE will become the property of the customer. In another option, the security deposit will be adjusted against the monthly rent over three years.
Cable service providers can give STBs at a rental of Rs46.80 or Rs32.93 if the security deposit is Rs400 or Rs800, respectively.
Similarly, DTH companies can provide CPE at a rent of Rs60.66 and Rs43.33, respectively, if the security deposit is Rs500 or Rs1,000.
TRAI said the tariff orders have been devised to make available STBs / CPEs at reasonable price and, lucid and easy to understand, terms and conditions as well as to take care of the interests of the service providers.