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Affordability, high speed net to drive Mobile TV across India

Wednesday, 7 May 2014 - 6:15am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

How will you react if you will get to watch your favourite football or cricket match live on your mobile screen for Rs 2 or even free? Oh! you do not believe it! Well this is soon going to be a reality and not only for matches but across TV genre - live as well as recorded, very soon with ultra high-speed internet making its way into the country.

The mobile TV as well as the content generation industries are all waiting for the onslaught of 4G services, especially with Reliance Jio's plans to launch its 4G pan-India services in next few months.
At present, Bharti Airtel is the only player offering 4G services to its customers and that too in select cities.

According to Visual Networking Index 2014 report by Cisco, by 2018, the average 4G speed is expected to be 8,141 kbps in India, while 3G would be 3,391 kbps.

The growth of 3G services is estimated to be 19% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) from 2013. There are no figures available for the current 4G speed across the country.

"Plans to roll out 4G services by all the major telcos in India augur well for fueling widespread adoption of mobile video in India as for millions of people, it is often the first and only screen that affords them access to information and entertainment. However, availability of 4G devices at affordable rates to enable mass penetration would be critical," Salman Hussain, vice president, business development, Vuclip, told dna.

California-based Vuclip is a mobile video and media company with a global user base of over 120 million monthly.

"With the introduction of 4G and better bandwidth, we will be able to provide much higher video quality. In Middle East regions where 4G is already present, our video quality is much more enhanced and we will be able to enable that in India as well," he added.

Vuclip is not the only firm excited about 4G. There are a slew of content generation companies as well as DTH services providers who have launched their mobile TV apps and services to tap the burgeoning high speed internet market.

However, the company says the two key challenges to ensure great mobile video experience still remain- device variability and fluctuating network speeds as high speed networks may not always function at a consistent. speed.

Telecom service provider, Tata Docomo currently offers a daily sachet models priced at Rs 5 per channel per day.

"The device landscape in the Indian Market is changing fast with the increasing penetration of smartphones. A dramatic change in the user behaviour is being witnessed with affordable data tariffs and a smart screen visible in front of every customer," GurinderSingh Sandhu, head marketing, Tata Docomo, told dna.

"This concept of `TV on the Go' gives an option of affordability and ease to the customers. Last but not the least, "right" customised content for the small screen will also be the key enabler for driving the adoption," he said.

According to a recent report by Cisco, in India, 4G will account for 36.9% of the total mobile data traffic by 2018, compared to 0.5% at the end of 2013.

4G traffic is expected to grow 1,727-fold from 2013 to 2018, a compound annual growth rate of 344%.

On mobile video, the report says that the traffic will grow 34.1-fold from 2013 to 2018, a CAGR of 103%.

In India, mobile video traffic will reach 777.8 petabytes per month by 2018, up from 22.7 petabytes per month in 2013. According to it, video will consist of 62% of India's mobile data traffic by 2018, compared to 44% at the end of 2013.

The study also says that by 2018, 4G connections will be 11.9% of the total mobile connections across the country. While the smartphone data traffic will grow 25.6 fold from 2013 to 2018.

Channels too are very excited with mobile TVcoming to the forefront. Colors created a Big Boss app for the last season. The last show was downloaded almost half a million times. Currently it is expecting that the season 7 app will be downloaded at least a million times.

Aunindo Ghosh, senior product manager - Cisco Videoscape Systems, Cisco, India & SAARC, said the digitisation has opened up numerous avenues for internet based value-added services. "With Cisco's solutions, cable and satellite TV service providers can now offer Video-on-Demand, Catch Up TV and Multi-Screen TV viewing to their subscribers," Ghosh said.

"The proliferation of 3G and the roll-out of 4G network have catalysed a huge demand for the video everywhere service, which is the ability to view content on any device at home or on the go. One such example of these new services is Tata Sky's 'Everywhere TV', which is based on the Cisco Videoscape Video Everywhere solution. Available on iOS and Android platforms, this service allows subscribers to enjoy live streaming of content on multiple devices. With the access to hi-speed internet, subscribers will be able to enjoy unprecedented flexibility to find their favourite content anytime & anywhere and view it on any device of their choice," he added.

Dish TV, India's pre-eminent direct-to-home (DTH) satellite television (TV) provider, too recently launched its online service DishOnline. It provides TV to subscribers via Android- and iOS-driven hand-held devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops.

DishOnline subscribers enjoy their TV in four forms: liveTV, movies, TV shows and videos. At the time of launch, DishOnline packs included a jumbo pack at Rs 129 which included all live TV channels, movies, TV shows and videos and a starter pack at Rs.49 will included all movies, shows and videos.

According to a study by digital medium analytics firm comScore, India is the world's third-largest internet population with young Indians in the 25-34 age-group driving the growth.

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