2018 has ended with many hopes for the industry. The year 2018 appears to have passed very soon as nothing significant has happened for the cable and broadcast industry throughout the year. All hopes for a better future at the beginning of the year have belied and industry is in a state of gloom. New Tariff order and regulations have been implemented with some important clauses missing. Some of them are still in the courts making us carry forward our hopes to the next year. Economic situation in the country is topsy turvy and hopes for stable economy have also been carried forward to 2019. DTH and MSOs are still reeling under the impact of demonetization of 2016 and implementation of GST in 2017, unable to invest for network upgrades for broadband services or adopting new technologies of OTT and Video streaming.
On 30 October, the Supreme Court upheld the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) tariff order for broadcasting sector. The apex court dismissed a petition filed by broadcasters Star India and Vijay Television which challenged the Madras High Court order allowing the TRAI tariff order and interconnect regulation.
Today, the Indian pay-TV market is in a transitional phase, with many operators and broadcasters migrating toward IP-based delivery. Moreover, mobile video consumption is escalating. According to the latest research from Frost & Sullivan, the OTT video market in India will experience significant growth between now and 2022, with up to $3 billion in untapped revenue potential. A key challenge facing content providers and pay-TV operators in the region is how to cost-effectively deliver a high quality of experience (QoE) on every screen.
Fifth-generation wireless (5G) is the latest cellular technology, engineered to greatly increase the speed and responsiveness of wireless networks. With 5G, data transmitted over wireless broadband connections could travel at rates as high as 20 Gbps by some estimates -- exceeding wireline network speeds -- as well as offer latency of 1 ms or lower for uses that require real-time feedback. 5G will also enable a sharp increase in the amount of data transmitted over wireless systems due to more available bandwidth and advanced antenna technology.
On 11 November 2018, the Telecom regulator TRAI issued a consultation paper on Over-The-Top (OTT) services. The regulator seeks stakeholders’ inputs on how to regulate platforms like Whatsapp and Skype. The consultation paper is titled, 'Regulatory Framework for Over The Top Communications Services'.
Broadband India Forum (BIF), held its Fourth International Annual Satcom Summit ‘India SatCom-2018’, in New Delhi on 20-21 November. The event was inaugurated by the Chief Guest, Ms. Aruna Sundararajan, Telecom Secretary and Chairman, Digital Communications Commission, Govt. of India. Senior officials from Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) also graced the occasion. The event was attended by other leading Industry experts from India and abroad and other members of Satcom and Broadband fraternity
On 25 October 2018, Pakistan’s Supreme Court constituted committee comprising 2 members from Customs and an additional director of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to probe and take necessary steps to check the menace of illegal sale of Indian Direct to Home (DTH) technology boxes in the country’s lucrative black market.
The year 2018 appears to have passed very soon as nothing significant has happened for the cable and broadcast industry throughout the year. All hopes for a better future at the beginning of the year have belied and industry is in a state of gloom. TRAI’s Tariff Order and regulations are still stuck in the court, carrying forward the hopes of a regulated industry to the next year. Economic situation in the country is topsy turvy and hopes for stable economy are again being carried forward to 2019.
Some call it ‘offensive and derogatory’ and hence should be banned; some say it is a unifying force. This is the great saga of the word ‘Dalit’. On June 8, 2018, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court had asked the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) to consider issuing a direction to media to stop using the word ‘Dalit’. On August 7, 2018, the ministry issued a circular directing the media to refrain from using the word ‘Dalit’ and to instead use ‘scheduled caste’. Is the system becoming intolerant, heading for sensorship of the Media?
The Telecom Committee of PHD Chamber organized an Interactive Session with Dr. R. S. SHARMA, Chairman, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) along with TAIPA as the Co-organizer on 24 October 2018. Many eminent speakers from the industry took part in the discussion on framing a Policy on common duct for all telecom and utility services. Senior Officials of Vodafone Idea, Hinduja Media Group, Asianet Satellite Communications Ltd., Bluetown India Pvt. Ltd., BIF, COFI and URJA provided their inputs upon the requirement of their individual industries and how they will utilize a common duct if built. Cable operators, Cable manufacturers and RWA members had shown their active participation in the same.
With growth proving challenging in the pay-TV sector, operators need to be embracingnew strategies to both retain and attract customers. In the APAC region pay-TV operators should be looking to defend existing revenues while tapping into continued consumer demand for easy access to streamed video content with the right strategy.
The MeToo movement (#MeToo), which arrived in India in October 2018 with former Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta’s sexual harassment allegation against legendary actor Nana Patekar, had started in the US in October 2017. It is a movement against seeking sexual favour for work and sexual harassment at workplaces. The movement had started with the sexual misconduct allegations against a powerful Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein.