Putting India in the league of powerful countries in terms of space research and rocket launches, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), on 5th June, launched country’s most powerful and heaviest rocket, sending a communications satellite into orbit in a successful debut flight.
When Aadhaar was introduced, it was declared as an optional document. But slowly, the government realized its potency to fight corruption and crime. Hence, due to its practical benefits, Aadhaar has now become the most important document for every Indian, more important than your PAN. The Supreme Court has already put its stamp on the validity of Aadhaar.
Although Digitisation of Cable TV networks all across the nation has been declared completed by I&B Ministry, reports received from different parts of the country say something else. Due to lack of infrastructure as well as lack of interest shown by large MSOs to invest in rural areas, millions of consumers are still left with analogue signals or NO signals at all. Even DTH has not reached in these far off places, or these consumers find DTH costlier than cable.
When the clock struck 12 on 30th June 2017 midnight, India entered an era of financial revolution introducing a single tax regime called the ‘Goods and Services Tax’. The event was celebrated in the Parliament with all the fanfare with the President, Sh Pranab Mukherjee ringing the bell to usher in the historic economic reform in the country.
Sony Pictures Networks India has launched children’s entertainment channel Sony Yay! on 18th April. Targeted at the 2-14 age group, the new channel is available in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu languages. Leena Lele Dutta, Business Head, Sony YAY!, spoke to Cable Quest about the newly launched channel and the future growth of the kids entertainment segment. Excerpts from the interview:
To mark 20 years of its existence, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) organized a two-day Seminar on 'Digital Broadcasting in India: Way Forward' on 4th & 5th May 2017 in New Delhi. The Seminar was inaugurated by the country’s Minister for Information & Broadcasting, M Venkaiah Naidu.
In May 2017, two seminars on almost similar topics were held; one on ‘Digital Broadcasting in India - Way Forward’ by the telecom regulator TRAI (on the occasion of TRAI completing 20 years) in New Delhi, and the other by TDSAT in Chandigarh on ‘Digitization in Broadcasting & Cable Services: Achievements, Issues & the Way Forward’.
Those, raising their voice in support of single window process for speedy approval of a project, know very well the importance of it, as they do not want to waste their energy, money and time in running department to department for a job to be done. IoT or Internet of Things is like this single window process, a tool to offer a seamless lifestyle where a user can control his almost every task, no matter where that task is based, with a click of a button while being anywhere in the world.
For a long time, the cable industry has been demanding the rationalization of taxes. Now, the government has ended multiple taxations with a single pan-India tax, GST, which will come into effect from July 1. The government has fixed 18 per cent GST for cable and DTH sectors.
A business-friendly environment is a pre-requisite for the growth of a nation. A favorable business environment makes a country a favorite business destination. It not only leads to employment generation but also helps in the growth and development of an economy. The Government of India has launched an ambitious program of regulatory reforms aimed at making it easier to do business in India. The program aims to identify the bottlenecks and remove them to create a more business-friendly environment. The efforts have yielded some results with India improving four places on the World Banks’ Doing Business index rankings in 2017.
The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) organized a seminar on ‘Digitization in Broadcasting and Cable Services- Achievements, Issues and Way Forward’ in Chandigarh on May 20, 2017.
Is tradition TV viewing declining? Are advertisers losing interest in TV? These are disturbing questions for broadcasters and all those connected to the industry. The drop in TV viewing caused by the advent of new media technologies like OTT (Over the Top) and IoT and faster internet speed is forcing broadcasters to become innovative and supply what new-age consumers want – choice, convenience and privacy. Hence, they are launching their new OTT platform s and partnering with content providers and technology suppliers to retain their customers and win new audiences.
India is getting future ready and has started serious work on identifying and formalizing the standards for the rollout of 5G. The standards are likely to be ready by 2018. This was stated by the D P De, Sr DDG, Telecommunication Engineering Centre (TEC) at the 5G India 2017 Conference, held in New Delhi on May 12. TEC is the nodal agency of the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications, Government of India, and is responsible for drawing up of standards, generic requirements, interface requirements, service requirements and specifications for telecom products, services and networks.
Expected to be commercially rolled out by 2020, 5G is the fifth generation of mobile telephony, and is the fastest generation of networks so far. Nokia, Siemens and other companies are working in this direction. But to achieve 5G network in the India, the government needs to focus on good bandwidth which is not possible without strengthening the infrastructure. There is a lot to be done.
As a regular exercise, TDSAT, the telecom sector tribunal, held a Seminar on ‘Digitisation: Achievements Issues and the Way Forward’ on 20th May in Chandigarh. It was well attended by the Judges of different courts, lawyers, MSOs, broadcasters and LCOs. For TDSAT’s new Chairman, Hon’ble Justice Shiva Kirti Singh, it was the first-of-its kind seminar where members of TDSAT interacted with consumers and industry stakeholders in an open environment.
Today, the broadcasters have tens of new options to add extra revenue, thanks to the digital age and platforms like OTT, international markets, sponsorships and services like video on demand (VoD). Helped by technology, they have every way to exploit their content. Agreed that there are people who misuse technology to pirate the content but counter technologies also get developed at the same speed. There is no fool proof protection to a broadcasting content and no amount of regulations can protect the broadcasters from piracy. Even then Broadcasters want protection and are lobbying hard using the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), an international organisation’s platform.
The telecom regulator TRAI, on April 7, released the “Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicator Report” for the quarter ending December, 2016. The report provides a broad perspective of the Telecom Services in India and presents the key parameters and growth trends of the Telecom Services as well as Cable TV, DTH & Radio Broadcasting services in India for the period covering 1st October, 2016 to 31st December, 2016 compiled mainly on the basis of information furnished by the Service Providers.
The name ‘Rupert Murdoch’ may inspire a sense of awe and inspiration for the young generation, but the industry insiders know him and his ‘questionable ways’ very well. Yet, many of them surrender before his enormous global clout which comes with money and nexus with political powers in several countries. High on ambition, Murdoch has always tried to rule the broadcast and entertainment sector by buying everything including his opponents; for him all is saleable. The Big Brother - that he is, Rupert eyes India as the most lucrative and promising market where he believes he can (and he has many success/notorious stories to tell) overpower his rivals with his great powers, strategic moves and big money. Indeed, Murdoch treats business much like a war, and for him everything seems to be fair in this war, though he may not be that much ‘fit and proper’.
Pirates are not found only in oceans; they are everywhere, stealing and selling, and their businesses are growing parallel to the main industry they target. In the TV industry, piracy has become a lucrative big business. As per latest data, more than 2.7 million advertisements are given to illicit streaming devices while top 100 pirate IPTV sites generate more than 16 million visits per month.
OTT has literally made consumer -the king! All over the world, people’s content viewing locations are constantly changing, thanks to the massive reach of internet, cheaper smart-phones and competitive data charges. People want content as per their own convenience and choice. In India, Reliance Jio’s free net services have brought tectonic shift in the way people consume content, as users could watch their favourite movies and TV serials or enjoy live cricket matches while they are mobile, at negligible rates. Earlier, it was not achievable given the high internet charges by the established telecom operators. Governments’ special focus and initiative to strengthen its Digital India program and introduction of 4G have given a big boost to the new media and OTT segment, forcing advertisers to shift their focus on this new trend to attract the new-age consumers.
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