July 2019



Star India's OTT platform Hotstar registered a recordbreaking 15.6 million concurrent users during the India-Pakistan ODI. This was 70% higher than the other ODI in the tournament.

Hotstar also hit a daily active user number of 100 million during the India vs. Pakistan match on 16 June, making this the highest-ever single day reach for the platform. 66% of the 100 million users came in from towns beyond the big metro cities.


A report by CRISIL says Indian telcos are not ready for 5G. Fiber levels for the industry are below 30% while 70% is required to deploy 5G.

"If each player were to reach this level individually, telcos may need investments of up to ₹ 1 lakh crore only in laying fibre networks over the next 2 to 3 years," warns the report. The higher land cost and right of way approvals make fiber installation cost as high as ₹ 1 crore per km in metros, it said.

The cost of 5G spectrum has been set much higher than that of Britain and South Korea, the report said.

Domestic telcos are already saddled with debt of ₹ 4.3 lakh crore.


Hyderabad based ACT Fibernet has commenced trial roll out of a 4K android STB.

ACT was India's first ISP to launch Gigabit wired broadband.

The ACT Stream TV 4K device comes bundled with various OTT apps like Hotstar, Netflix, ZEE5, Sun NXT, HOOQ, Hungama Play and so on. As its name suggests, it also supports 4K content and allows users to install all the Android TV apps directly from the Google Play Store.

The ACT Stream TV 4K costs ₹ 4,499.

ACT joins Hathway, Asianet & TataSky who already offer 4K streaming devices


BSNL vendors have asked the government to intervene to get pending dues of as much as ₹ 2,500 crore, from the government telephone company.

There are reports that even Cable networks who have partnered with BSNL for broadband distribution, have not been paid their commissions.

Major vendors with large unpaid dues include Nokia, ZTE, ATC Corp, Bharti Infratel & Aksh Optifibre.

Nokia wrote to the Department of Telecoms' (DoT) additional secretary, seeking his intervention to recover ₹ 650 crore.


Cash strapped BSNL has teamed up Star India to free access to Hotstar Premium service to customers under a new broadband plan.

BSNL's fixed-line broadband plan Superstar 300 for ₹ 749 a month, offers 300 GB downloads with 50 Mbps download speed for its fibre broadband customers. Hotstar Premium is bundled free with this pack.

Hotstar Premium offers pay content & access to all Live Sports, including Cricket, Premier League, F1 & Tennis.

"Cricket matches today are being viewed more and more on mobiles, desktops, and Smart TVs, and customers will seek high data speeds. Our partnership with Hotstar Premium has started at the right time when sports entertainment is at its peak, and we want to bring the best offers to our customers with Superstar 300, to celebrate this mega sports season," BSNL CMD Anupam Shrivastava said.

Earlier, BSNL had teamed up Eros Now and Amazon Prime to push its broadband service.


US President Donald Trump is pushing for a global ban by countries to buy 5G equipment from China's Huawei Technologies Co and ZTE Corp.

The GSMA trade association estimates that such a move would delay the rollout of the high-speed 5G networks in Europe by at least 18 months and increase the cost of 5G deployment in Europe by 55 Billion Euros.


Jio GigaFiber has introduced a lower cost Optical Network Terminal (ONT) provided against a refundable security deposit of ₹ 2,500.

The new ONT device only supports 2.4GHz b/g/n Wi-Fi, and not the 5GHz Wi-Fi band while the earlier ₹ 4,500 ONT. Reports are also that the lower cost ONT supports only 50 Mbps, (compared to 100 Mbps) but includes telephone connectivity - similar to its more expensive option.

Industry observers except JIO to announce the commercialisation of its service during its AGM in end August 2019.


The US news industry earned an estimated $5.1 billion from digital advertising.

However, according to a report in The New York Times, Google made a whopping $4.7 billion from its Search and Google News in 2018.

The report took the data from the News Media Alliance which represents more than 2,000 newspapers across the US.


WhatsApp has threatened legal action against those who publicly claim the ability to bypass its messaging restrictions, and misuse the messaging platform.

The statement was issued by Facebook owned WhatsApp, several companies have advertised software that will bypass usage restrictions.

It was reported in May, that WhatsApp was being misused ahead of India's general election through the use of free clone apps and via a $14 software tool that allowed users to automate delivery of bulk WhatsApp messages.

Some firms in India also offer bulk WhatsApp messages from anonymous numbers via a website.

Fighting spam has been a major issue for WhatsApp, especially in India, where it has more than 200 million users.

WhatsApp says it blocks more than 2 million accounts per month worldwide for bulk or automated behaviour.


MadHive recently took a look at OTT advertising requests in the global marketplace & discovered that a large percentage of them were suspicious.

According to MadHive's data, put together after analysing more than 1 billion OTT ad requests, 18% of OTT inventory is fraudulent. What that fraud looks like, for example, could be a single device requesting unusually high ad fills during a given time, inferring that device-based fraud is occurring, according to Mike Gasbara, director of emerging technologies, blockchain and advertising at Fabric Media.

Gasbara said fraud also happens at the app-based level, when the same ad-supported OTT app shows a very high rate of activity around the clock.


The net loss of Tata Sky Broadband Pvt Ltd (TSBPL) has increased 88.46% to ₹ 98 crore in FY19.

Operating income remains meagre at ₹ 6 crore, an increase of just ₹ 1 crore in FY18.

Founded in 2016, TSBPL is a whollyowned subsidiary of Tata Sky Ltd. Headquartered in Mumbai, their services are currently available in 21 cities and towns. Since DTH is unable to provide satellite broadband (no return path), TSBPL was established to provide alternates.

Broadband services are essential, and an excellent revenue source for delivering live TV channels as well as off line video, via OTT.


In a move to enhance accountability and single point operational focus, BBNL plans to take over operations and maintenance work of BharatNet.

Bharatnet is the much delayed optical fiber project, aimed to provide rural broadband, countrywide.

BBNL has contracted the building of Bharatnet to BSNL (70%), Railtel (15%) and PowerGrid (15%).

The project utilises 2 lakh kilometer of an optical fibre belonging to BSNL and has laid an additional 3 lakh kilometer to provide over 1.27 lakh Gram Panchayats (GPs) with high speed broadband.

The project, which started in 2011, has missed several deadlines to connect 2.5 lakh panchayats. The last deadline was March 2019. While 1.19 lakh GPs have been service ready, often most of the network has been found to be non-functional.

Currently the entire maintance is done by BSNL. When the system is down, BBNL is dependent on BSNL. That will now change. BBNL has approached the USOF (universal service obligation fund) to take charge of the maintainance of 3 Lakh Kms additional (non-BSNL) fiber laid.

According to ZEEL CMO Prathyusha Agarwal:

There are less than 10 million paid OTT consumers in India, compared to 120 million Indian Cable & DTH subscribers.

"OTT has miles to go to catch up to TV's ad & subscription revenue of ₹ 345 billion," she said.


By September this year, the world's largest DTH platform - DirecTV USA will commence distribution of its live TV channels via broadband.

The service will use a broadband connection instead of a satellite dish & will operate on a proprietary Android TV STB.

Consumers can choose satellite or broadband delivery.

John Donovan, CEO of AT&T Communications, said it is the consumer product he is most excited about since the iPhone.

Broadband delivery will lower customer acquisition costs, since no satellite antenna or wiring is to be installed. It will also enable customers who can't receive the satellite service due to issues with line of sight. (An estimated 20% of US home have a line of sight issue to receive DTH). n