In today's Digital era where Companies are offering subscriber based services such as Pay TV (Video), Internet Services (Data), IP Telephony (Voice) etc., All these services should be managed in a professional and prompt approach to fulfill all the subscribers' requirements. This may involve responding to customer requests for New Connection activation, New Bouquet / channel requisitions, altering subscription packages, handling promotional plans, Generation of bills & receipts, providing subscriber history data, Connection De-activations or for General Technical issues while ensuring that all the processes are well organized.
Indian television industry is going through a transformation. Impending Analogue Switch off and New Media like OTT present an immense opportunity and challenge. PayTV operators should also address the changing consumer and regulatory demands of varied content, better quality, improved service qualities etc; all at economical price points.
It is important for an operator, upgrading from analogue to digital (DAS) to choose a solution that is compliant with the TRAI regulations and other official requirements, now and in the future. It is also important for the operator to choose a supplier that takes a long term responsibility for the products, giving the operator necessary support and upgrade of functionality in the future. Likewise it is important to choose a solution that is based on existing open standards to avoid hidden expenses related to expensive third party solutions. This is very important due to changes in the regulations over the time. This is particularly important when choosing the CAS-partner.
Ending all speculation surrounding the roll-out of conditional access system (CAS) in the country, the government on 8-Apr-2008 gave in-principle approval to CAS extension in rest of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, and subsequently in 55 cities in a phased manner as suggested by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai). .
Success of the first phase of implementation of mandatory Conditional Access System (CAS) readies us for the second phase. CAS is set to knock the doors of the left out cable TV viewers of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata and the satellite towns of these metros who will soon require a Set-Top-Box (STB) to watch their daily dose of entertainment. The satellite towns include New Bombay and Thane for Mumbai and Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Gurgaon for Delhi.
Traditional Conditional Access (CA) systems are deployed using a smart card or embedded chip in the set-top box. Latens a CAS Software vender have set out to eliminate or substantially reduce the costs of deploying and managing CA systems with a new generation of applications that do not require a smart card or embedded chip, but instead use a secure software module (SSM) which can be downloaded over the network. This article outlines the cost issues that may not come to light until the operator has experience of running a smart card based CA system.
As the first phase of CAS implementation will be soon bid adieu, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India as well as the Information and Broadcast Ministry are stepping towards a new phase of voluntary implementation of the technology in new areas. The scope of voluntary CAS was discussed at the 1st Feb. meeting called by TRAI. A fast extension of CAS to other parts of the country is also being worked upon. Issues relating to fiscal price rationalization, encouragement of domestic manufacturing, need for price control, ensuring affordability (by allowing Indian manufacturers in STB production), choice for voluntary implementation of CAS are being discussed. TRAI formed a sub-group in this regard on 5th Feb.07. The group is expected to consider the extension of CAS to other parts of the country.
Successful implementation of CAS has given TRAI, The regulator a magic wand to spread digitalisation in rest of the country. It has already started working on it with zeal
Digitalization of Cable TV and introduction of voluntary CAS are two distinct and independent processes. However, the two processes are closely linked together in the sense that voluntary Conditional Access Systems are likely to be digital systems due to certain inherent advantages of digital systems. At the same time, voluntary CAS could be the driver for digitalization of cable TV in the country. The CAS for cable TV has been rolled out in parts of the three metros of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata in digital mode only. CAS has already been implemented in Chennai.
Conditional Access System, (CAS) a new ‘pay’ channel delivery system being implemented by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), which gives TV viewers a choice to pay only for the channels they want to watch, commenced after the Delhi HC refused to grant an extension to its rollout. After many hiccups CAS came into force in notified areas of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata at the stroke of midnight on 31st December, 06. Consumers had for long campaigned for the freedom to choose the channels they would like to watch, rather than be forced to accept the package offered by cable operators who often clubbed popular channels with not so popular ones. TRAI regulation has at last made TV viewing a personal affair. CAS is government's solution to all the impediments in quality TV viewing and entertainment. It is government's special design, an answer to the broadcasters charging high subscriptions from the viewers but still not being able to provide quality TV viewing experience. CAS will organize the broadcasting industry right from the grassroots and avoid piracy and enable the government to keep an eye on what you see through your set top box.
The year ends with a new beginning for cable TV viewers as CAS finally rolls out in Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai. All news and articles appearing in a section of the print media about the problems in the implementation of CAS and that DTH being considered as a replacement has been put to rest. The viewers can now decide what to watch on their TV and also control their cable bills.
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