TRAI’s mandate: Which DTH provider has the best offerings?

The well-intentioned move of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is meant to empower the consumers with the freedom to choose. It tries to fulfill TRAI’s mandate to ensure sector’s growth while protecting the interest of both service providers and consumers.

The new mandate has landed many DTH providers in doubts and indecision. But gradually things seem to be on the mend, as all of them are settling on their respective approaches.

The extension of the implementation deadline by TRAI has eased the situation for the providers. It allows all the DTH and cable service providers in achieving a smoother customer migration to the new channel packs and prices. The transition also brought into focus multiple issues about lack of understanding, missing channels etc. It has also allowed the subscribers to gain more knowledge about the providers and the services offered, and to make the change accordingly.

Let us take a look at its impact on the prominent providers, and how they are responding to the challenge posed by the new scenario.

Airtel Digital TV has introduced many packs for its subscribers after the mandate. It has simplified the process for the subscribers by helping them select the preferred channels through the Set-Top Box. The provider efficiently resolved the issues escalated by few subscribers about blank screens and missing channels. It has also launched a lot of regional channel packs, and seems well on its way to add to its 15 million+ subscriber base in the country.

D2h, part of Dish TV India, has been quite proactive in responding to the mandate by being the first mover on the migration process. They sensed the opportunity to acquire a larger customer bringing in a lot of combo plans and add-on packs in SD and HD, adding new regional packs as well. D2h has also floated a Rs 50 NCF to lure additional subscriber connections. Nonetheless, it is observed that their customer services still have a scope to improve.

Tata Sky was the slowest mover on implementation of TRAI’s mandate. But they have suitably managed to catch up and overtake other providers. They have introduced a lot of HD and SD channel packs for the subscribers, while bumping off NCF on select channels. The portfolio also includes Mini packs and regional language packs. The migration is facilitated by an easy app and web-based process. Tata Sky scores high on customer satisfaction, and remains the top preference of subscribers in the country.

Sun Direct, though mostly limited to the south of India, remains relevant in the new scheme of things. They have taken an initiative to wave off NCF charges on additional slabs, which keeps them among the most prominent players. They have matched the other providers in introducing new SD and HD channel packs, in addition to various add-ons.

The new framework is supposed to allow consumers the freedom to select the preferred channels on their own, stabilize market price, while improving the customer service as well. So, go ahead, contact your provider to make your choices known, and pay only for that.