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TRAI To Initiate Digital Switchover In Indian TV Sector
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The plans to implement the Digital Addressable Cable TV systems in India, formulated by TRAI, are yet to be considered by the ministry

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) released their plans to implement the Digital Addressable Cable TV systems in India by the end of 2013. This decision from TRAI may knell the death toll of the analogue system, which is currently being used all over the country.

TRAI plans to implement the proposed plan in different phases starting from 2011 and will be completed by the end of December 2013. In the first phase, the four metros viz. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore will have the digital addressable system’s cable TV systems.

The second phase will include the cities of the country with population of around one million and the third phase will cover all the urban areas across the country. The rest of the country will be covered under this plan by 2013 December in the fourth phase.

“Digital TV will enable consumers to watch high quality digital television channels of their choice on a-la-carte basis. Also digital systems have the capacity to deliver many more channels to the consumers than analogue cable. In fact, the capacity crunch and the non-addressable nature of analogue cable TV systems is coming in the way of orderly growth of the cable TV sector in India,” says TRAI in its press release.

To promote the rapid implementation of the scheme, TRAI have got plans to offer some incentives to the stakeholders. Those service providers who implement the digital addressable Cable TV system before 2013 December 31 will be eligible for tax holiday from 2011 April to 2019 March and the basic custom duty will be reduced to zero, for all digital high end equipments and set-top-boxes.

TRAI also plans to conduct the education programme to literate the stakeholders about the benefits of digital addressable cable TV systems.

"All will gain from the digitalisation. We expect fast-paced digitalization for both DTH and digital cable if Indian broadcasting carriage services are able to attract global players," said JS Sarma, Chairman for Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

TRAI is all gearing up to release the final consultation paper by next week and the whole industry is overwhelmed by the decision of TRAI. Information and Broadcast minister Ambika Soni, had already mentioned that the country is looking forward for a digital switchover sometime in the near future and the proposed plans formulated by TRAI are yet to be considered by the ministry.

Once it gets approved, the country will have a revolution in the Indian TV distribution system.


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