Advanced Television

India frustrated by slow digital roll-out

December 12, 2013

By Chris Forrester

By any measure the changeover from analogue to digital amongst India’s cable MSOs has been something of a nightmare. Officially, India’s four giant ‘metros’ (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai) ought to have wrapped the conversion more than a year ago on November 1st 2012. However, poor planning, customer inertia and complex bureaucracy have combined to delay the implementation.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) regulator is now seriously getting fed up. While recognising that the digital adoption has – more or less – now concluded in three of the four metros, Chennai is still some way off from being concluded and TRAI is “seriously concerned” at the never-ending delays.

TRAI says that those TV stations still broadcasting in analogue in the Chennai region must cease. “Analogue transmission has to be stopped and complete addressable digitisation is to be implemented. The subscriber management system of the MSOs must have complete details of the subscribers including the choice of channels opted by them,” it said.

“The [regulator will] closely monitor the progress in this regard and would take all possible actions, including penal action according to the TRAI Act, to ensure compliance of its regulatory framework,” it said in a statement issued December 11th.

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