Prasar Bharati CEO proposes global alliance for direct-to-mobile broadcast tech

    Technology and standards are being developed across the world to enable direct broadcast of video content on mobile phones instead of taking the content to users through cellular networks.
    By PTI
    | Updated on Dec 10 2020, 05:00 AM IST
    Representational image.
    Representational image. (AFP)
    Representational image.
    Representational image. (AFP)

    Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi S Vempati on Wednesday proposed a global alliance to develop standards for direct-to-mobile broadcasting in line with wi-fi or Bluetooth technology.

    Technology and standards are being developed across the world to enable direct broadcast of video content on mobile phones instead of taking the content to users through cellular networks.

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    Speaking at the India Mobile Congress 2020, Vempati suggested making direct-to-mobile broadcast technology discoverable on a user's device like wi-fi or Bluetooth.

    The protocols for wi-fi and Bluetooth technology are followed globally.

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    "The single most opportunity that I see is to create a ubiquitous experience by which one discovers and consumes direct-to-mobile broadcast services.

    "I am reminded of early days...when Wi-Fi Alliance came about to create that ubiquitous experience. It didn't matter whether you are on a laptop or mobile phone or any other device. You had a standard symbol for wi-fi and a very consistent way in which you could discover and consume services over the wi-fi network capability. The moment calls for a similar sort of global alliance," Vempati said.

    He was responding to a query on opportunities between India and US.

    "Perhaps India and the United States could take leadership here to create this direct-to-mobile alliance of sorts which creates this ubiquitous experience and propels the convergence between mobile phones and broadcasting over the emerging 5G standards... ," Vempati added.

    He further said broadcast turned out to be a game changer during the COVID-19 pandemic for continuation of learning and knowledge sharing.  

    "These are the use cases that we will look forward to when we see convergence of broadcast and mobile phones happening," Vempati said.

    Video content has been driving usage of mobile data in the country.

    Vempati said studies have shown that video consumption on mobile devices in rural India has surpassed urban consumption levels, aided by popular events like IPL.

    "Today all of that viewership is happening on regular cellular networks. We will soon hit that inflection point where regular cellular networks will not be able to handle this kind of capacity.

    "This is where it becomes very interesting to look at emerging technologies like NTSC 3.0 and 5G broadcasting. If we could leverage the broadcast spectrum, the broadcast infrastructure to directly reach mobile phones and deliver the content that consumers are looking for, I think we have a game changer here," Vempati said.

    Speaking at the session, Saankhya Labs co-founder and CEO Parag Naik said spectrum bands that are used for transmitting broadcast signals provide better indoor coverage compared to mobile networks, particularly 3G and 4G.

    He said mobile operators face challenges when it comes to capacity expansion which comes at a high cost.

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    First Published Date: 10 Dec, 05:00 AM IST
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