The technology, referred to as NexGen Broadcast, is being developed by DoT, I&B Ministry and IIT Kanpur
The government is in talks with stakeholders, including telecom operators, to decide on implementing the technology
Telecom operators might oppose the proposal as D2M could impact their data revenue, given 80% of internet traffic is video
The government is exploring the feasibility of broadcasting live TV channels on mobile phones without a data connection. Termed D2M (direct-to-mobile), the technology will enable mobile phone users to watch TV on their devices, similar to watching TV via cable or DTH.
The government is in talks with stakeholders, including telecom operators, to decide on implementing the technology. However, telecom operators might oppose the proposal as D2M could impact their data revenue, ET report said, citing sources.
A meeting has been scheduled for next week, likely to be attended by officials from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) and IIT Kanpur, along with representatives from the telecom and broadcast industries.
The government believes there should be a convergence for delivering content through broadcast and broadband, particularly with the launch of 5G.
With TV limited to around 210-220 Mn households, India nearly has 800 Mn smartphone users, expected to reach 1 Bn by 2026 as per Deloitte’s 2022 Global TMT (Technology, Media and Entertainment, Telecom) report. Per the same report, more than 80% of internet traffic is video, making mobile a good platform for broadcast TV content delivery.
The government wants to utilise D2M for content delivery, particularly educational and other necessary content like emergency alert systems, the report added.
What Is DTM, The Government’s NexGen Broadcast Tech?
Last June, IIT Kanpur published a whitepaper on the D2M broadcast and 5G convergence roadmap for India. IIT Kanpur has partnered with the telecom startup Saankhya Labs for hardware requirements.
The technology, referred to as NexGen Broadcast, could be considered an extension of content delivery networks (CDNs), allowing seamless integration into the OTT ecosystem and architecture. This enables DTM providers to leverage the existing CDN ecosystem and edge computing capabilities to deliver a TV viewing experience on mobile.
“Once a Direct-To-Mobile network is rolled out, a broadcaster can use such a network as a data pipe and deliver various applications apart from traditional TV, traditional Radio such as educational content, emergency alert system, disaster management updates, Video on demand and FOTA (firmware upgrade over the air for automobiles),” said IIT Kanpur in the whitepaper.
The technology – theoretically – allows for increased viewership, better advertising revenue, personalised news and advertisements and optimisation for mobile networks. IIT Kanpur has set up a three-site live Proof-of-Concept (PoC) using low-power BRHs (Broadcast Radio Heads) on cell towers in Bengaluru to test the same.