TRAI consultation on auditors for digital addressable systems

India broadcasting industryTRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has issued a consultation paper on empanelment of auditors for digital addressable systems (DAS).

India has 1421 MSOs, 6 private DTH operators, 48 pay TV broadcasters, one operational HITS operator and few IP TV operators in the country.

There are around 8-10 CAS manufacturers with major manufacturers being Nagra Vision, Cisco, Irdeto, Conax and iCAS in the Indian market.

TRAI said the scope of the audit as per the regulatory provision consists of technical specifications given in the Schedule-III of the Interconnection regulations, 2017 and also many other requirements given in regulatory framework of the addressable systems.

Technical Audit

This audit is commissioned by broadcaster to satisfy itself that the distributor, to whom it is likely to provide television signal, meets the addressable system requirements as specified in schedule III of interconnection regulations, 2017.

Conditional Access System (CAS) and Subscriber Management System (SMS)

Auditing of CAS and SMS to check whether the current version of CAS have any history of hacking, capable of generating logs, whether SMS is capable of recording vital information and data of subscriber, locating each STB, pairing of STB and viewing card from SMS etc.


Fingerprinting technology is used to figure out piracy of television signal. It is to ensure the deployed system is capable of processing finger printing at regular intervals

Set Top Box (STB)

TRAI said the audit is to ensure the STB is capable of decrypting the Conditional Access messages inserted by the Head-end, individually addressable from the Head-end, compliant to the applicable Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) standard, capable of receiving messages from the headend, etc.

Subscription audit

Subscription audit focuses on ascertaining the subscriber numbers being reported by distributors to broadcaster and ensures distribution of revenue among stakeholders in the value chain as per the interconnection agreement.

This audit can be a yearly audit to be done by the distributor in compliance with the regulation or the audit initiated by a broadcaster when he is not satisfied with the audit report received from the distributor. This may consist of some of the requirements mentioned in schedule III relevant to reconciliation of subscribers, items to prevent piracy etc. Most of the other items of schedule–III may be audited from the CAS / SMS.

This audit needs to ascertain whether the distributor has established and is maintaining necessary systems, processes & records in line with the regulatory framework (Interconnection, Quality of service regulations and Tariff order).

This includes maintenance of website for publishing of RIO by the distributor, Web based grievance redressal mechanism for addressing the complaints of LCOs, Indication of Maximum Retail Price (MRP) of channels on Electronic Programe Guide (EPG), Offering Basic Service Tier package etc. Auditing the same indicates the general health of the addressable system and processes deployed, and improves transparency among the stakeholders in the value chain.