February 2017




A new subsea cable will connect Singapore to Mumbai. Apart from this one, cable entrepreneur Sunil Tagare recently announced another new subsea cable project, designed to connect Marseille to New York directly.

Tagare stated that his company Sing-India-Sing Cable would bypass India's Reference Interconnection Offer (RIO) rules. It would land in an open cable station in Mumbai where the RIO charges would be zero and any carrier would be able to access the cable landing station, he added.

He said India has lagged in internet bandwidth availability because of its arcane RIO (Reference Interconnection Offer) regulations that enabled carriers to charge atrocious access charges, reflecting in bandwidth prices more than 10x higher than in Europe and the US.

So, recently, TRAI won a court case filed by Tata Communications and Bharti Airtel which now will force the carriers to drop their RIO charges by 90%. And TRAI is not done. It wants to pursue this further and get the carriers to drop the RIO charges by 98%.

In 1989, Tagare began the privately financed Fiber Optic Link Around the Global (Flag), which Verizon sold to Reliance Communications; now called as Global Cloud Xchange. Tagare, who quit Flag Telecom in 1996, later founded Project Oxygen cable project unrelated to the current Google operation of a similar name. He later established BuySellBandwidth capacity trading business.


SITI Networks has tied up with BSNL to provide its Live TV service, dittoTV to BSNL mobile customers.

dittoTV is developed by Zee Digital Convergence Limited, a ZEEL company. dittoTV is India's first linear OTT service and offers 80+ live TV channels, including a bouquet of premium HD channels.

BSNL subscribers can now receive their favorite TV channels, live, on their mobile phones.

BSNL customers can subscribe to dittoTV either as a monthly subscription of Rs. 20 or through a bundled data tariff voucher of Rs. 223 which offers dittoTV along with 1GB data for 28 days.

The service has been rolled out in North Zone circles of BSNL and will soon be rolled out in other circles.


BSNL has s t a r t e d working with local cable o p e r a t o r s (LCOs) to roll out its services like broadband over Fiber-To- The-Home (FTTH).

BSNL launched its FTTH service in Warangal in association with the LCOs for the first time in Telangana. it hopes to increase its Warangal broadband subs from 10,000 to 100,000, through this partnership.

BSNL will replace its copper cables with optical fiber to provide the service to customers.

As a promotional offer, BSNL has announced two new plans under the new FTTH scheme: Rs. 645 for 10 MBps with a data cap of 50 GB and Rs. 1,045 for 20 MBps for 100 GB.


Telecom operators and ISPs should mandatorily share network infrastructure within buildings, residential apartment, public spaces, etc. with other operators and ISPs in a transparent, fair and nondiscriminatory manner. Also, a minimum of 3 operators should be present, according to a TRAI recommendation.

Other recommendations to prevent "taking away choice and flexibility from the consumers which they would have had in terms of quality of service (QoS), tariff, redundancy, etc." include:

♣ Compulsory to share network infrastructure such as cables, ducts, In Building Solutions (IBS), etc. with other telcos and ISPs in large public spaces, commercial/residential complexes, etc. in transparent, fair and nondiscriminatory manner.

♣ Formulation of "Model Building Bye-Laws."

♣ BIS to modify minimum cable requirements in the National Building Code of India (NBC).

♣ Completion certificate to be issued only after prescribed common telecom infrastructure is installed.


China has begun a crackdown on the use of Virtual Private Networks, (VPNs), making it harder for internet users to bypass the government's 'Great Firewall'. VPN services use encryption to disguise internet traffic so that web surfers in China can access websites that are usually restricted or censored by the Great Firewall.

The Great Firewall is a vast internet surveillance and content-control system that prevents people in China from accessing certain websites and pages. It blocks content that's critical of the Chinese government or that covers controversial political events, such as the Tiananmen Square protest or spiritual movements such as Falun Gong.

171 of the world's 1,000 top websites are blocked, including Google, Facebook and Twitter, according to censorship monitor


31% of U S broadband households subscribe to multiple O T T s e r v i c e s . "This is an important step in the growth of the US OTT video services marketplace," said Brett Sappington, Senior Director of Research, Parks Associates. "Consumer willingness to subscribe to multiple services provides the consumer-paid revenues necessary for continued industry growth."

12% of all US broadband households subscribe to both - Netflix & Amazon Video.

The average monthly spend on OTT subscription video is $ 7.95, which coincides with the lowest price tier on Netflix and Hulu.

US consumers pay an average of $29 per month for incremental video-related entertainment beyond pay TV.

US broadband households spent only $0.80 per month buying video downloads.

Consumers spend $9.32 per month on movie tickets.


Jio TV, Reliance Jio's Over- The-Top (OTT) app, has added 44 TV channels, now offering a total of 412 channels.

Jio TV's OTT channel count is on par with those provided by DTH & Cable TV.

Further, Jio TV allows its users to watch live TV channels and the past 7 days' programmes on any device, any time.

Jio TV has had 50 million installs on Android.


Apple is now planning o n entering t h e world of TV by making their own original set of shows and series just like Netflix and HBO. The TV series will then be bundled with Apple Music's monthly subscription service. This is the company's strategy to move further ahead of Spotify, which offers the same set of music as Apple does but with better interface and recommendations.

However, Apple is not looking into competing against Netflix, Amazon or let alone cable TV. n