November 2019



On 19 July 2019, TRAI had issued its Consultation Paper on KYC of DTH Set Top Boxes.

The consultation was issued in response to the I&B ministry's letter, requesting the regulator's advice on the matter.

A prime concern of the MIB was to restrict smuggling of DTH equipment illegally to other countries. Possible actions suggested by the MIB were:

  • Compulsory Filling of KYC form and Aadhar verification for every customer purchasing DTH equipment.
  • DTH operators asked to operate on satellites having coverage in India only.
  • GPS enabled STBs with geo-fencing to Indian coordinates.

The Primary Concern By The I&B Ministry Was Illegal Shift & Use Of Indian DTH STBs Abroad.


Based on the comments of the stakeholders received during the consultation process and its own analysis, TRAI has finalized its recommendations on "KYC of DTH Set Top Boxes" as follows:

  1. DTH operators must install the DTH connection only at the address mentioned in the Customer Application Form(CAF). That address must be verified by the DTH representative & a record of the installation maintained by the DTH operator.
  2. The DTH operator should ensure identity of the subscriber by sending a one-time password (OTP) to his registered mobile number.
  3. In cases a registered mobile number is not provided by the subscriber/corporate body, the DTH operator should collect Proof of Identity or any other similar document which establishes user identity, in physical or electronic form, before provisioning the DTH connection.
  4. There is no need to mandate physical verification at regular intervals as it will incur huge cost burden to DTH operators & inconvenience consumers. For existing STBs not attached to any mobile number of the subscriber, efforts should be made by the DTH operator to link the STB with a mobile number within 2 years. In case where it is not possible to link with a mobile number, document for proof of identity of the subscriber should be collected by the DTH operator.
  5. There is no need to mandate DTH operators to incorporate Location Based Services (LBS)in DTH STBs.

The Recommendations Do Not Suggest Effective Measures, To Prevent Indian DTH STBS From Being Used Outside India.


TRAI's recommendations largely do not address the primary concern expressed by the I&B Ministry - the smuggling of DTH STBs to neighbouring countries and their illegal usage there.

TRAI's recommendations do not prevent Indian STBs being smuggled and used abroad after they are authorised & installed in India.

The recommendations do not suggest any new measures, that DTH platforms must take to prevent Indian DTH STBs from being used outside India, effectively pirating Indian TV channels to viewers in other countries. n