Airtel Digital TV has updated its network capacity fee (NCF) as per the amended tariff guidelines provided by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in early January. As a result of the latest change, the Delhi-based direct-to-home (DTH) operator will charge an NCF of Rs. 130 (without taxes) to subscribers opting for up to 200 SD channels. Airtel earlier had an NCF of Rs. 130 for 100 SD channels. Similar to Airtel Digital TV, Tata Sky has recently revised its NCF structure to meet the amendments made by TRAI under the National Tariff Order 2.0 that came into effect starting Sunday, March 1.
As per the updates detailed on the official website, Airtel Digital TV will now charge a total NCF of Rs. 153.4 (including Rs. 23.4 GST) for the subscription of up to 200 SD channels. If a customer wants to increase the channel count beyond the 200 SD channels, the operator will charge an NCF of Rs. 160 (excluding taxes) or Rs. 188.80 (total price including the GST of Rs. 28.80).
In case of subscribers using multiple TV connections, Airtel Digital TV will charge a Rs. 52 (excluding taxes) for up to 200 SD channels for all multiple TV connections activated under the same account in a home. Additional NCF of Rs. 30 (excluding taxes) will be applicable for subscribers of over and above the given quota of 200 SD channels.
The operator was earlier charging Rs. 130 NCF for the primary connection accessing 100 SD channels and requiring Rs. 20 for 20 additional SD channels. For multiple TV connections, it was charging an NCF of Rs. 100 (plus taxes).
Since two SD channels are treated equal to one HD channel for the purpose of calculating NCF, you would be charged Rs. 130 for accessing 100 HD channels on your Airtel Digital TV connection.
Airtel Digital TV confirmed to Gadgets 360 that the quota of 200 SD channels or 100 HD channels doesn't include the bundled Doordarshan channels. This means the mandatory Doordarshan channels will be available in addition to what all you'll select for your DTH connection.
Similar to Airtel Digital TV, Tata Sky also recently revised its NCF charges in compliance with TRAI's latest tariff orders. The operator is charging an NCF of Rs. 130 (excluding taxes) for the subscribers of up to 200 SD channels and Rs. 160 (excluding taxes) for the channel count over and above the initial 200 SD channels.
TRAI amended its regulatory framework in January to provide benefits to end consumers and imply an NCF ceiling of Rs. 130 for 200 SD channels. The regulator also announced that in case of multiple TV connections, the operators could charge a maximum of 40 percent of the declared NCF for the second and additional TV connections. This brought some relief to customers who're using multiple TVs at their homes since some operators were earlier charging full NCF on secondary connections.