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May 2018


B'BAND & IPTV NEWS


AMAZON PRIME: 100M+

Amazon Prime now has more than 100 million paying members worldwide, CEO Jeff Bezos told shareholders.

In 2017, Amazon shipped more than 5 billion items via Prime, its program that offers free express shipping, along with perks like TV shows & movies on Prime Video.

Amazon Prime was first launched in the USA, 13 years ago. In 2017 Amazon introduced Prime to India, Mexico, Singapore, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, in addition to the U.K., Germany, Austria, Japan, Italy, Spain, and France.


FACEBOOK: USERS MUST ACCEPT ADS

Facebook Inc has said its users must accept targeted ads as a condition of using its service, despite a EU privacy law.

The EU law, which takes effect from May 2018, will fine companies if they collect or use personal information without permission.

Facebook Deputy Chief Privacy Officer Rob Sherman said "Facebook is an advertising-supported service."

Facebook, the world's largest social media network, will use what are known as 'permission screens' - pages filled with text that require pressing a button to advance - to notify and obtain approval. There is no option to decline. Users can either 'accept and continue' or 'manage data setting.'

The screens will show up on the Facebook website and smartphone app in Europe this week and globally in the coming months, Sherman said.


JIO WIDEST, AIRTEL FASTEST

Reliance Jio had the best 4G coverage in India, providing an LTE signal to testers more than 96% of the time in every single region in India. It was 27% better than its closest rival in this respect, according to a new report from London-based OpenSignal.

JIO's competitors lagged far behind for network coverage: Vodafone (68%) and Idea (68%) & Airtel (66%).

With a download speed of 6 Mbps, Airtel emerged as the clear leader in OpenSignal's speed metrics across 4G providers in the country. JIO came a close second at 5.1 MBps. These 4G speeds are very poor compared to the global 4G download average of 16.9 Mbps recorded in OpenSignal's 'State of LTE' report.

OpenSignal's findings were based on a 736,571 Indian devices test conducted from December 1, 2017 to February 28, 2018.




AMAZON'S ANDROID BROWSER

E-commerce giant Amazon has silently launched an 'Internet' web browser for Android devices in India. Reports are that it has been developed specifically for India, for use on low budget smart phones.

The app is just 2.4 MB, making it very fast & it does not collect private data like other browsers.

Amazon has not officially announced the launch of the browser.


CHEAP PUBLIC WIFI

To provide easy internet access for all individuals, TRAI has suggested the setting up of Public Data Offices (PDOs), similar to telephone's Public Call Offices (PCOs), to enhance Wi-Fi connectivity. TRAI says low cost broadband connectivity in every corner of the country, is a basic requirement of the Digital India mission, and Wi-Fi can implement this.

Public WiFi Is A Good Business Opportunity For Broadband Networks

TRAI conducted a pilot trial between October 2016 & March 2017 & handed over the results to the I&B ministry.

The main idea of the trails was to establish an open architecture-based Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (WANI), such that any entity (company, proprietorship, societies, non-profits) can easily setup a public Wi-Fi access point.

This could present a business opportunity for Cable operators venturing into broadband distribution. The WiFi access in public areas (Stations, markets, theatres, etc) can provide additional broadband revenues, and extend broadband for their customers outside their homes.

If a sufficient number of public WiFi Hotspots are created, they could be franchised or even sold to telcos, as is done abroad.



LAPTOPS WITH SIM CARDS

Reliance Jio is in talks with Qualcomm to launch Windows 10 laptops, that will accept a 4G SIM card to provide cellular wireless data.

"We have talked to Jio. They could take the device and bundle it with data and content," Miguel Nunes, senior director, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, confirmed to the press.



SIFY: UNAUTHORISED 5GHZ USE?

The telecom operators body COAI has approached DoT demanding action against Chennai based Sify Technologies alleging that the ISP has been using the 5 GHz spectrum, which is in violation of the current laws.

In a letter to telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan, COAI said, "We have noticed that despite issuance of the infringement notice by DoT, Sify continues to radiate in the unassigned airwaves in 5 GHz. The same has also been confirmed by the frequency scanning drive conducted by one of our member operator in Patna, Gurgaon and Chennai."

The COAI letter points out that unauthorised use of licensed spectrum by Sify in a competitive market puts other licensed players at a disadvantageous position.

However, a spokesperson for Sify said that DoT as a licensor has laid down specific guidelines and Sify is in compliance of such guidelines and license conditions like any other operator.



AIRTEL LAUNCHES 300 MBPS B'BAND

Airtel has launched a 300 Mbps, 1200 GB home Broadband plan for ₹ 2,199 a month. It also provides consumers free unlimited STD and local calling, via a landline telephone.

Customers opting for the plan also get free subscription to Airtel's OTT apps - Wynk Music and Airtel TV.

"Following the resounding success of our V-Fiber home broadband offering, we are delighted to introduce the new FTTH based plans for customers looking for higher speeds," George Mathen, CEO - Homes, Bharti Airtel said

He further said that Airtel will plan to expand FTTH offerings over the coming days and provide customers the choice of home broadband plans across a wide range of price points and speeds.

In India, Spectra remains unmatched with a 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) broadband service for approximately ₹ 5,000 per month.

Airtel offers home broadband and fixed line services in 89 cities across India.



GOOGLE APPEALS CCI PENALTY

In February, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) imposed a ₹ 136 crore fine on Google, for abusing its dominance in web search & search advertising markets.

The CCI ruling was in response to complaints filed by matchmaking website Bharat Matrimony and a not-for-profit organization, Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS).

Google has appealed the fine at the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).

A CCI official said its judgment was "robust" and would defend it.

Last year, The European Commission imposed a record 2.4 billion Euro ($3 billion) fine on the company for favouring its shopping service and demoting rival offerings. Google has appealed against that verdict too.



MIMO AT IPL VENUES

To cater to the very high density of mobile broadband users, Airtel deployed 'Massive MIMO' technology across IPL match venues in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mohali, Indore, Jaipur, Bengaluru and Chennai.

Airtel is the first mobile operator in India to commercially deploy Massive MIMO. Reliance Jio, Vodafone and Idea Cellular have run pilots in various circles.

Massive MIMO expands existing network capacity by 5 to 7 times on the existing spectrum, thereby supporting the very large number of concurrent users on the network, at the venues.

Airtel users get free access to all live IPL 2018 matches, via Hotstar, by downloading the new version of the Airtel TV app.



JIO MERGES APP UNITS

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has subsumed three wholly owned subsidiaries, which owned at least half-adozen Reliance Jio apps, into the parent company effective 1 April with the aim of building a single in-house media team.

The aim is that all of Reliance's telecom businesses will be held under JIO.



DEN: FIBRE B'BAND IN 100 CITIES

DEN promises to roll out high-speed fibre broadband in 100 cities during the next 12 months. The service will be offered in networks where it already delivers Digital Cable TV.

According to the plan, starting April 18, DEN encourage its Local Cable Operators to install fibre to the last mile on a revenue sharing basis.

"In Phase I, we have identified 100 cities with strong presence. We have already run a pilot project in five cities and have seen huge success. The board has given its go ahead for the plan and we see a maximum of ₹ 30 to 40 crore of investment as capex, which will be met by the internal accruals," DEN CEO - S N Sharma explained.



'ROAMING' OTT IN EU

From 1 April, the EU has ended geo-blocking, allowing viewers will be able to access Pay-TV subscriptions to Canal+, Sky Sports, Netflix, etc with them when on business or on holiday. The rules apply to online subscriptions and not the reception of encrypted channels by satellite.

This is an implementation of the June 2017 'portability regulation'.

The rules are compulsory for Pay services but optional for free content. The Federation of German Consumer Organisations has criticised the fact that FTA broadcasters are not compelled to follow the directive, while the movie industry fears it will erode their ability to sell titles on a market-by-market basis.

The EU estimates that currently 29 million people, or 5.7% of consumers in the EU, could make use of crossborder portability, rising to 72 million people by 2020.



3.3 TO 3.4 GHZ FOR 5G

In its notice dated March 27, the DoT has asked telecom and other companies to vacate the spectrum in the 3,300 to 3,400 MHz band, which will be used as 5G airwaves. Companies have six months to comply.

No new assignments will be made in that band and existing licences for use of the 3,300 to 3,400 MHz band will not be renewed.

The deployment and growth of 5G bands is a key recommendation by TRAI.



INDIA: HIGHEST MOBILE DATA CONSUMER

The mobile data consumption in India is now the highest in the world at 1.3 million GB per month, "more than the combined data usage in the US and China."

Average data usage per subscriber grew 25 times from 62 MB per month in 2014 to 1.6 GB per month in 2017," the DoT said.

DoT has stated that Indian mobile internet rates have dropped 93% & data usage per user surged by more than 25 times in the 3 years ended 30 September 2017. DoT tweeted "Cheapest tariff globally". JIO now offers data at approximately ₹ 4.75 per GB per day.

Broadband access in the country increased from 61 million subscribers in March 2014 to 325 million subscribers in September 2017, the DoT said. According to TRAI's latest report, there were 445.9 million internet subscribers at the end of December 2017.



'EROS NOW' TO GO PAY

90% of Indian OTT viewers consume only free content. To gain numbers and critical momentum, Indian OTT platforms continue to provide a large part of their library free of charge.

Eros Now believes that Indian consumers are willing to pay for quality OTT content, and is planning to charge for all its content, aside from "shoulder content" such as music videos and movie trailers.

Operating under the ambit of production and distribution company Eros International Media, the company is inching towards its aim of accruing 16 million subscribers by the end of financial year 2019.

In January, Eros Now announced that it had hit 80 million registered users & 5 million paying subscribers worldwide as of 31 December 2017. n