- Tata Sky remains ahead of other operators thanks to its swift migration process and wide-range of channel packs
- Airtel Digital TV and Dish TV recently received showcause notices from Trai
The new tariff regime introduced by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has become fully active earlier this month. Subscribers who did not exercise the channel options are being moved to Best Fit plans by the respective operators. However, consumers of almost every DTH operator is disappointed thanks to the sub-par implementation of the new mandate by DTH and Cable TV operators. Last week, Trai issued showcause notices to Dish TV and Airtel Digital TV, and before that, it warned six local Cable TV operators for not following the rules implemented by the regulator. If you’re a new customer looking to book a new connection from any of the DTH operator, well, you’re in the right place as we try to find out which operator is the best in terms of the new tariff implementation.
Tata Sky is easily one of the biggest DTH service provider in the country. After the Trai mandate though, the operator was slow to list the new channel packs and pricing. However, it is safe to say that Tata Sky has done a commendable job of introducing a smooth migration process for the subscribers. After the mandate, Tata Sky has launched tons of HD and SD packs for the subscribers in regional languages as well. There are also Mini-packs in the portfolio and combined with the straightforward app and website based migration process Tata Sky has managed to stay on top of the preference list of a lot of subscribers. The operator also remains ahead of other operators by boasting as many as 65 exclusive channels. Furthermore, the DTH operator has recently removed lock-in period on paid channels which is another good news for the subscribers.
Notably, D2h was the first operator to respond after the Trai mandate came out back in October. The operator was also quick to start the migration process ahead of others and hoped for subscriber addition to its existing base in the interim. Later the operator introduced many combo plans and topped them up with add-on packs in SD and HD and many packs in regional languages as well. Recently, D2h has also put out information about additional connections as well, noting that subscribers can avail them by only paying Rs 50 as flat NCF.
However, D2h subscribers have faced and are still facing a lot of issues related to various channels. In fact, most of the consumers are still not able to reach the company’s toll-free number for clarifying their doubts.
Dish TV is also offering similar combo packs to the consumers since it’s the one who operates D2h. Recently, Trai has issued a notice to Dish TV and D2h for not following the guidelines implemented by the regulator.
Airtel Digital TV
Bharti Airtel’s DTH wing also boasts of an impressive subscriber base of more than 15 million in the country. The operator, after the Trai mandate, introduced many channel packs for its subscribers. To ease up the process in a better way, Airtel Digital TV also made it possible for the subscribers to select their new channels via the Set-Top Box only. The operator also launched lots of regional channel packs, but as of late Trai has put Airtel Digital TV in crosshair after some subscribers of Airtel Digital lodged their grievance about missing channels and black screens although the problem was quickly resolved soon after. While Airtel Digital TV subscribers has the freedom to choose a lot of channel packs, they are often facing issues related to billing and some are even terming Airtel Digital TV’s billing system is completely broken.
Sun Direct is a prominent DTH provider in the south, and it is safe to say that although the provider does not boast of a widespread network in the North, it has established a solid stronghold in South India. Further, the move of completely doing away with additional slab NCF charges made Sun Direct an attractive choice for a lot of subscribers. Following in the lines of other DTH providers, Sun Direct has launched new channel packs, regional channel and add-on packs in HD, SD. Also, it’s possibly the only operator to offer a wide-range of channel packs for longer durations. For example, Sun Direct has nearly three DPO packs in every language and it’s offering them for a period of up to 12 months.
After weeks of noticing the happenings in the DTH industry, we have noted that in terms of the number of channels and number of channel packs, ease of migration and customer service Tata Sky is the DTH provider which has managed to satisfy the subscribers to a large extent. The provider had also launched a similar offer as Sun Direct and Dish TV by doing away with NCF on select channels. The tariff migration is almost completed, but there are still some subscribers who’re facing issues in terms of billing, channel packs and much more.
Do let us know what you experienced with your DTH provider in the comments section below.
Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.