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February 2018


CONVERGENCE NEWS

 

TRAI: ALLOW INTERNET INFLIGHT

In its recommendations on 'In-Flight Connectivity' TRAI has recommended that DoT should allow mobile & Internet services for during air travel in the country through both satellite and terrestrial networks.

It has recommended that:

a) Both Internet and Mobile Communication on Aircraft (MCA) service should be permitted as In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) in the Indian airspace.

b) MCA to be permitted with a minimum height restriction of 3000 meters, for compatibility with terrestrial mobile networks.

c) Internet Services through Wi- Fi onboard should be made available when electronic devices are permitted to use only in flight/airplane mode.

Currently Indian and international carriers are not permitted mobile or internet connectivity while flying over Indian airspace.


OTT CONTENT MONITORED?

"MIB does not regulate paid streaming and video on demand services provided over the internet," minister of state - I&B ministry told the Lok Sabha.

He added that there are enough safeguards available under the Information Technology Act, 2000 which is administered by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) for content appearing on paid streaming and video on demand services provided over the internet.

MEITY, he said, is empowered to block information/ websites/URLs under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000.


BROADBAND TO GROW 44%

There is good news for wireline broadband service providers.

Surging demand for high speed data is likely to yield 44% growth in the number of wireline broadband subscribers in India in the next 4 years, according to market research firm Counterpoint Technology.

The report projects India's wireline broadband subscriber base to grow to 26.2 million by 2021 from 18.2 million this year, at an annual growth of about 7.6%.

Wireline broadband includes internet delivery via Cable Modems, telephone lines (DSL/ ADSL) or optical fibre.

Some subscribers currently consume about 200 GB a month to watch Netflix & Amazon Video on TV.

"With only 6-7% wired broadband penetration in India, there is enough opportunity for everyone to grow in this market," said Bala Malladi, CEO, Atria Convergence Technologies (ACT).



JIO: WORLD'S LARGEST DATA OP

According to Strategy Analytics' latest 'Wireless Operator Performance Benchmarking' database and accompanying report, India and China accounted for half of all traffic growth globally with Jio & China Unicoms leading in their respective countries. Unlimited data plans have yielded 166% traffic growth in China.

Reliance Jio carries more data traffic than any mobile operator globally.

Jio customers consume more than 200+ crore hours of video per month on the network.

In Europe, Vodafone's zerorated Passes have 8 million subscribers.


SAT LINK FOR LOCOS BY DEC '18

Indian Railways has set a target of December 2018 to link all its 10,800 locomotives via ISRO satellites, making it easy to track trains and communicate with their crew in real time, officials said.

"We have already tried it on 10 locos and by December 2018 we will have this system installed in all our locos," a senior railway board member said.

The railways is also working with the Indian Space Research Organisation to use its satellitebased system to check accidents at unmanned railway crossings and track train movements. The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (or NaVIC) will be used to warn road users of approaching trains through hooters installed at unmanned road crossings.


SCIT WANTS B'BAND AGR RESOLVED

The Parliament Standing Committee on Information Technology (SCIT) has asked the Dept. of telecom (DoT) to relook at the issue of charging 8% AGR licence fee, to MSOs even on their Cable TV income. The matter has been pending with DoT for more than 2 years. Irreversible damage has already been done, due to the DoT's inaction. Most Major MSOs have already separated their Broadband operations into a separate company, leading to wasteful expenditure to set up completely separate distribution networks for Cable TV & Broadband - often to the same consumer premises!

The SCIT has pointed out that utilisation of the existing cable TV network for providing high speed broadband will also reduce the burden on National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN) while also providing numerous employment opportunities in the sector.

The parliamentary committee has asked the MIB to impress upon the DoT for an early decision.


EROS NOW: 5 M PAID SUBS

Eros International has said that its over the top (OTT) service Eros Now has registered 150% growth in paid subscribers by touching 5 million mark worldwide as of 31 December 2017 up from 2 million at the end of CY 2016.

The company said Eros Now is on track to achieve its FY18 target of 6 to 8 million paying subscribers and expects to double that base by FY19.

Eros Now's target is an annual ARPU of $5 in India & $35 internationally.


VERY POOR NET SPEEDS

A study conducted by voluntary action group 'Consumer Voice' working for consumer rights has found that the internet speed provided to users in the country is far below what is claimed by the service providers, and is amongst the lowest internationally.

The audit was conducted in 8 states across 4 telecom circles.

The study also shows a wide gap between 3G and 4G speed claims of internet service providers and their actual performance.


SUN DIRECT OFFERS FREE SUN NXT

The Sun Direct DTH platform is offering a free subscription to the VoD platform Sun NXT to its Cinema Plus, Mega Pack, and World Pack subscribers.

Sun NXT offers live TV as well as catch up TV. It offers over 50,000 hours of live TV content, movies, originals, kid's, and music content in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada & Malayalam. n