The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a consultation paper on Issues related to Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting in India recently with a view to review the existing terrestrial TV broadcasting scenario for implementation of DTT across the country. The Authority, after examining various issues emerging from the comments of the stakeholders, open house discussion, and international practices, arrived at the recommendations on key issues associated with the implementation of DTT across the country.

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Main features of these recommendations are:

  • lDTT services may be introduced throughout the country in a time, bound manner to provide alternate affordable platform to consumers in accessing TV channels, mobile TV services, and other value-added services.
  • lPrivate players should be permitted to provide DTT services along with the public service broadcaster (Doordarshan) to ensure plurality and competition in the market. Private participation is expected to bring in investment and speed up the digitization process, thereby benefiting the consumers by providing variety of TV channels and value-added services.
  • lA total of seven DTT transmitters may be allowed in a particular service area for making DTT a competitive platform for providing rich bouquet of services including SOW, HDTV channels, mobile TV services, and value-added services.
  • lMaximum number of OTT providers may be capped at five (one public broadcaster and four private broadcasters) at a particular place as per availability of spectrum.
  • lMinistry of information and broadcasting in consultation with wireless planning and coordination wing of department of telecommunications and other technical agencies, such as Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited (BECIL), may carry out comprehensive frequency planning for roll out of OTT services in a time bound manner.
  • lDigital terrestrial transmission may be implemented in the country in the following three phases with complete migration and analog switch off by December 2023.
  • lA minimum overlap of three month must be provided as simulcast period for migration from analog to digital platform before analog switch off.
  • lA coordination committee may be set up by the ministry of information and broadcasting to steer implementation of DTT as a mission-mode project to ensure creation of a facilitating environment and timely completion for digitization of terrestrial broadcasting.