Possibility of interoperability on the clouds
Ankita Lahiri | May 26, 2016 | New Delhi
An issue for quite some time, the interoperability of set-top boxes (STBs) is one of the key areas that Telecom Authority of India (TRAI) is focusing on its new consultation papers.
According to Sunil Gupta, principle advisor, TRAI, “The probability of interoperability within CAS is very high. We have done lab tests, not the field tests and the results have been quite positive.”
There are three types of interoperability in the context of STBs. The first is Intra-CAS operability, where a customer shifts within the same CAS system. Second is shifting from one CAS system to another CAS system. And finally, shifting from digital to analogue. Worldwide, this kind of interoperability has not yet been possible.
Analysing the whole issue as a technology problem, TRAI has got C-DoT on board as the technical advisers along with a twelve member committee which will look into the matter. The committee consists of professors from IIT Mumbai, ISCI Bangalore and other IT experts.
On being questioned about the delay in finding a solution to this issue, R S Sharma, chairman TRAI replied, “When we mentioned the idea of interoperability, many people said it is just not possible, for security reasons, for proprietary systems which are used to deliver the signals, encryption methodologies. All these things are so different that it is not possible to have one common set top box.”
In an attempt to find a solution, TRAI has already released a pre-consultation paper. Sharma goes on to add, “There are components in a set-top box which are proprietary to the provider and there are some components which are common. We are trying to figure out whether these components can be disconnected so that the propriety elements can have a standard interface with the common elements.”
As of now ByDesign, a Bangalore based firm is the only successful Indian firm to produce hardware (STBs) and software- a CAS system.
All these have been highlighted post several consultations. Reviewing the broadcasting sector with a holistic approach TRAI has already released four consultation papers. These include a paper relating to issues on tariffs, issues on stakeholders, on quality of services and on issues on registration of agreements.
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