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DTH ops complain of signal jamming in Mumbai

MUMBAI: The DTH Operators Association of India (DOAOI), the apex body of DTH operators, has said that anti-social elements are trying to disrupt DTH signals in several parts of Mumbai by using signal-jamming devices.

The DOAOI has shot off a strongly worded letter to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Mumbai police commissioner to register its protest against the illegal activity.

The letter states that these jammers are being used to disrupt DTH signals and are also a threat to national security as the same are capable of being used to interfere with other signals besides DTH.

DTH operators such as Tata Sky, Dish TV, Reliance Digital TV, Videocon d2h and Airtel Digital TV have detected fresh cases of DTH jammers causing disruption of services in some parts of Mumbai.

The illegal use of jammers came to the notice of the DTH players with numerous subscriber complaints from the Versova, Yari Road and Lokhandwala areas of Andheri regarding loss of DTH signals during the recently concluded Fifa World Cup matches.

The DOAOI stated that the jammer signals were disrupting the DTH signals of all DTH operators including the national DTH operator DD Direct Plus.

DOAOI said it had cited five specific instances when DTH jammers caused problems to the DTH signals in Mumbai between 4 July and 13 July this year. These instances happened during the telecast of key Fifa matches and more frequently on weekends. The disruptive signals were found to be strong in Mhada colony.

The DTH body also mentioned that while trying to detect the location of the signals, the technical team also came across destroyed DTH antennas on the terrace of some buildings.

Tata Sky MD & CEO Harit NagpalTata Sky MD and CEO and DOAOI president Harit Nagpal pointed out that they had received numerous complaints from subscribers about poor quality and freezing of pictures on television screens in a systematic manner, which gave rise to the suspicion of malpractice being involved.

“We have already zeroed in on particular locations and details of the same have been furnished to the police to take appropriate action. Dates pertaining the telecast and subsequent complaints have also been furnished to the authorities concerned in the complaint,” averred Nagpal.

“The government has made it a fair playing field for MSOs and DTH with digitisation. This has put pressure on some operators to provide quality in their offering, namely HD channels, interactive services, etc. Just because some people can’t cope with what the DTH players offer, they shouldn’t stoop to such low acts,” said a senior executive of a DTH company.

It must be pointed that cases of illegal jamming of DTH signals had taken place in Noida in 2011, and in Mumbai in 2008 and 2012. While the culprits were put behind bars in Noida, the signal disruption stopped in Mumbai after a written complaint was sent to the police.