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June 2019



BSNL has joined hands with Google to expand its Wi-Fi footprint across the country. The aim is to enable customers to use BSNL high speed internet services via Wi-Fi. The telco said that it is also taking steps to increase the rural Wi-Fi foot print promoting the government initiative of a 'Digital India.'

Google has already completed the rollout of Wi-Fi across 400 railway stations in partnership with RailTel in India. It had also bagged a deal along with RailTel and Larsen & Toubro to deploy 150 Google Station hotspots in Pune.

Google is also in talks with several stakeholders including telecom operators and internet service providers (ISPs) and state governments, for providing public Wi-Fi.


BSNL said it is launching its premium Bharat-Fibre service, in Andaman Nicobar Islands, by partnering with Local Cable Operators. BSNL has very little telephone copper cables laid in the islands & has partnered with local Cable TV providers since CATV connectivity is available to almost all households in Andaman Nicobar Islands.

"This is the first such Bharat Fibre service deployment in A&N Islands," said Jagadeshan, CGM BSNL A&N Islands. "Now customers can enjoy the internet delivered along with digital entertainment services through our partners."

Bharat-Fibre, BSNL's FTTH premium service delivers high speed internet and high quality voice services to its customers. The Customer can choose from various data plans with unlimited voice calling which BSNL is offering at very attractive prices.


An ASSOCHAM-PwC joint study 'Video on Demand: Entertainment Reimagined' projects that by 2022, the Indian video OTT market will be amongst the top 10 markets globally.

Indian OTT will then be worth USD 823 million (₹ 5,363 crore) annually. Indian OTT is growing @ 22.6% CAGR compared to the global average of 10.1%.

India already has more than 32 OTT platforms, including international players Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube etc.

OTT growth will be primarily due to growth of mobile smart phone numbers, which are projected to touch 859 million by 2022 from 468 million in 2017.

The study says that television is the largest subsegment within the entertainment and media industry, and will continue to remain so in the near future. The Indian television industry is set to grow from USD 13.3 billion in 2017 to USD 22 billion in 2022 - a CAGR of 10.6% compared to a global growth average of just 1.4%.


A new ConsumerLab report from Ericsson, looks at the potential 5G benefits consumers, & busts some common industry myths.

The report says:

  • 5G offers consumers no short-term benefits.
  • There are no real use cases for 5G, nor is a price premium justifiable for 5G.
  • Smartphones will be the main users for 5G.


Disney has taken full control of OTT platform Hulu.

Comcast, the other major stakeholder in Hulu, has entered into a deal giving Disney full operational control of the streaming platform immediately. However, the sale will not happen for another 5 years.

As per the agreement, as early as January 2024, Comcast can require Disney to buy its interest in Hulu at a valuation of $27.5 billion or whatever the value Hulu is appraised to be worth in 5 years.


AT&T's WarnerMedia - which includes HBO, Turner Broadcasting & Warner Bros. has announced a major shift in its distribution strategy.

It will run episodes of its popular shows first on its OTT service this fall, before the same episodes are available on Cable TV.

WarnerMedia's new OTT service is expected to launch by October, this year.


To combat 'Fake News,' Singapore's parliament has passed a law that allows authorities to order the removal of content.

The government now has powers to order social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to put warnings next to posts authorities deem to be false and in extreme cases get them taken down.

If an action is judged to be malicious and damaging to Singapore's interests, companies could be hit with fines of up to Singapore dollars 1 million ($735,000). Individuals could face jail terms of up to 10 years.

Singapore has for long been criticised for restricting civil liberties.

The legislation "Criminalises free speech & allows the government almost unfettered power to censor dissent. It doesn't even provide any real definition of what is true or false or, even more worrying, 'misleading.'" said Nicholas Bequelin, Amnesty International's regional director for East and Southeast Asia.


After DD News and Rajya Sabha TV, another public broadcasting channel DD National has joined the 1 million viewers club on YouTube.

Doordarshan director general Supriya Sahu and Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati congratulated DD National team on Twitter for achieving the milestone in digital space.

Rajya Sabha TV's YouTube channel is viewed by 2.5 million, up from 0.4 million in 2017.


Reports are that once rolled out, Jio's fiber broadband router will send and receive mobile calls also via its WiFi networks.

This will not only conserve expensive 4G bandwidth, but where 4G signals are weak, the clarity and reliability of the voice calls will also greatly improve. Call drops will also reduce.

Subscribers will be able to set their Jio mobile phones so that once they are (at home or office) within their Jio Broadband's Wi-Fi reach, the voice calls will get routed through the Wi-Fi network.

The feature has been implemented for years, where users can make unlimited free calls, via the JIO Voice app and a JIO Wi-Fi dongle.


SonyLIV plans to offer more than 120 live TV channels, in the near future. The platform has added 50+ live TV channels in the last three months across genres.

"We currently have approx. 70 channels and hope to take this to 120+ in the near future. We will keep adding based on the consumer response and consumption patterns," SPNI business head digital Uday Sodhi told the press.

"We expect 20% of the base to consume linear channels. News is a large and growing category. Language entertainment is also a big category for OTT consumers," he added.


Bharti Airtel has decided to separate its VSAT business, and sell it to market leader - Hughes Communications India.

Hughes Communications will own 67% share of the new entity while Airtel will own the rest. The new company will continue to be called Hughes Communications India Ltd., but the name could be changed in future.

Airtel did not provide any financial details of the slump sale to Hughes. The sale, subject to regulatory clearances, could take 9 to 12 months.

The new entity is projected to have 65% of market share of India's V-SAT business.

Hughes India's revenue is estimated at around ₹ 350 crore for fiscal ending March 2019, while that of Airtel's is ₹ 150 crore. The combined entity will have a 65% market share. n