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Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Airtel offers Rs 300 discount on Rs 399 postpaid plan

Airtel offers Rs 300 discount on Rs 399 postpaid planThe Sunil Bharti Mittal-led Bharti Airtel has announced a new offer for its postpaid customers. Under this new deal, Airtel offers a total discount of Rs 50 for its users on its Rs 399 myPlan Infinity postpaid recharge.

The Sunil Bharti Mittal-led Bharti Airtel has announced a new offer for its postpaid customers. Under this new deal, Airtel offers a total discount of Rs 50 for its users on its Rs 399 myPlan Infinity postpaid recharge. The said discount will be provided to the customers in form of Rs 50 vouchers over the next six months taking the total value to Rs 300. This will also bring down the effective price of Rs 399 plan down to Rs 349. With the introduction of this offer for postpaid users, Airtel will now be able to challenge Vodafone’s RED range of postpaid plans. Vodafone’s RED range of postpaid plans starts at a price of Rs 299.

Under this plan, Airtel users get 20GB data per month with ‘carry forward’ policy for both 3G and 4G SIMs. However, Airtel is offering an additional 20 GB data for the next 12 months taking the monthly data benefits to 40GB. This similar to what Vodafone offers to its user with its RED Rs 399 postpaid plan. Apart from this, the Airtel customer also enjoy other benefits like 100 outgoing text messages or SMS and free voice calls. The customers also receive a benefit of free subscriptions to Airtel TV and Wynk Music for a period of three months.

The move comes after Bharti Airtel was dethroned from its top position in the telecom industry with the merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular. The merger has given rise to India’s largest telecom operator- Vodafone India Limited. It also surpassed Bharti Airtel with a total revenues of over Rs 80,000 crore, 400 million customers, 35 per cent subscriber market share and 41 per cent revenue market share.

According to a data released by Telecom Regulatory Association of India (TRAI), the Bharti Airtel remained the market leader in the month of June, with a total user count of 344.56 million, followed by Vodafone’s 222.73 million, Idea’s 220.60 million and Jio’s 215.26 million. (Source: FE Online)

GatesAir Amplifies Efficiency and Functionality for DAB Radio Ecosystem atI BC2018

GatesAir Amplifies Efficiency and Functionality for DAB Radio Ecosystem atI BC2018Maxiva™ VAXTE transmitter and Intraplex® IP Link STL networking solutions cover the spectrum for SFN deployments of any scale and power level.

CINCINNATI, July 26, 2018 — As European radio broadcasters adopt the DAB/DAB+ digital audio standard and IP-based networkingthroughout their transmission infrastructures, GatesAir, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for radio and TV broadcasters, has optimized its high-efficiency Maxiva™ VAXTE transmitter for use in small-scale DAB/DAB+ radio installations requiring relatively lower power levels ranging from 10W up to 1kW

While the VAXTE was originally designed to drive power levels up to 8kW for large-scale and national DAB radio deployments, and up to 25.6kW for VHF TV channels across Bands I and Band III, GatesAir’s latest product introduction adds support for less expansive, regional DAB radio applications that now makes the transmission platform one of the most flexible, scalable and versatile on the market.

GatesAir will showcase this space-saving, air-cooled transmitter—along with its Intraplex® intelligent IP networking solutions forreliable, secure audio and data transport—at Stand 8.D60 at the upcoming IBC2018 (September 14-18, RAI Conference and Exhibition Center). As complementary products, the VAXTE and Intraplex IP Link family—including audio codecs, IP transport gateways, and monitoring and control software—work together to ensure the most efficient, resilient and robust DAB radio workflow across any single frequency network (SFN) operation.

Maxiva VAXTE

For cost-conscious DAB/DAB+ radio deployments and other international use cases, the newly optimized Maxiva VAXTE incorporates the same innovative features available in the high-power DAB transmitters. These include: GatesAir’s patented PowerSmart® Plus architecture for high-power density and efficiency, EDI IP (and legacy ETI) signal protocols, and GatesAir’s patented Real-time Adaptive Correction (RTAC) for market leading digital signal correction

At the IBC show, GatesAir will demonstrate all of these innovations within groundbreaking, space-efficient platforms that consume 78 percent less floor space than its predecessors.

By saving space at the transmitter site, the VAXTE allows broadcasters to accommodate more transmitters—delivering more channels—in a much smaller footprint, while cutting energy consumption by 50 percent. This also reduces costs with simpler installation and maintenance, while providing the flexibility to switch between EDI or ETI signal transport streams,” said Ted Lantz, Vice President and General Manager, Radio Product Line, GatesAir

With the latest software-defined Maxiva XTE exciter built-in, VAXTE transmitters can support DAB Radio (DAB, DAB+ and T-DMB) as well as OFDM (DVB-T, DVB-T2Lite, ISDB-T, ATSC 3.0) modulations. Based on the modular design, the transmitter can be flexibly configured and upgraded to meet desired size and power level requirements. With an innovative design that separates hot-swappable, front-access power supplies from power amplifiers, among other ergonomic enhancements, the VAXTE also simplifies installation andmaintenance, resulting in a more favorable total cost of ownership.

As part of our long legacy of innovation, the VAXTE is a next-generation transmission platform that saves broadcasters money, while making them more competitive as they deal with evolving broadcast standards, and the industry-wide shift to IP networks,” said Lantz.

Intraplex® IP Networking

When used in conjunction with GatesAir’s Intraplex® IP Link family of intelligent networking solutions, the Maxiva VAXTE transmitterbecomes part of an overall DAB or VHF workflow that provides advanced IP stream processing, monitoring and correction to ensurehigh-quality, error-free IP audio data transport from the studio out to the transmitter sites and SFNs.

“At IBC, we’ll showcase the operational benefits of our entire Intraplex® IP Link product line, which leverages our patented dynamic stream splicing capability to ensure that the transport of audio and data across IP networks is as secure and reliable as possible,” said Keyur Parikh, Vice President and General Manager, Intraplex Product Group, GatesAir. “This includes Intraplex IPConnect, a stand-alone gateway system that provides real-time protection of any IP packet data stream to improve the flow of audio and control traffic over IP.” IPConnect is designed as a cost-efficient solution for customers that only want transport stream optimization, without theencoding and decoding capabilities offered by IP Link codecs.

IBC also marks the European debut of the Intraplex IP Link 200A codec, which combines audio encoding and decoding with optionalbuilt-in GPS for tightly synchronized SFN operations. IP Link 200A codecs integrate all capabilities of the globally established Intraplex IP Link 200 codec, including DAB transport stream protection, with a new AES67 AoIP interface. Ideal for STL, audio contribution and distribution functions, the Intraplex IP Link 200A provides two bidirectional stereo audio channels, one of which complies with the AES67 standard for establishing interoperability between Dante, Ravenna, Livewire and other Audio over IP networking systems.

The GatesAir Intraplex IP Link product family also includes LiveLook software for analyzing and monitoring all of the streams being transported on an IP network, and generating reports and graphs to illustrate real-time and historical performance. GatesAir’s family of Intraplex IP Link products can be used with any transmitter on the market, making their deployments even more flexible and accessible to broadcasters worldwide. (Source:IBC Show News)

StreamGuys to Showcase New Automated Podcast Transcription and Captioning at IBC2018

StreamGuys to Showcase New Automated Podcast Transcription and Captioning at IBC2018 Demonstrations to feature European debut of new features in SGrecast live stream recording and repurposing platform, powered by ENCO enCaption technology. BAYSIDE, CALIFORNIA, July 30, 2018 – The upcoming IBC2018 exhibition will provide the backdrop for the European debut of new audio transcription features in the SGrecast live stream repurposing, rebroadcasting and podcast management system from streaming solutions pioneer StreamGuys.

Powered by the patented enCaption4 cloud-based, automated captioning technology from ENCO, the new capabilities enable fast, effortless generation of exceptionally accurate transcriptions and captions from recordings and uploaded files. StreamGuys will co-exhibit with ENCO in stand 8.A59 at the show, taking place September 14-18 in Amsterdam.

The SaaS-based SGrecast offers broadcasters a comprehensive platform for recording live streams and transforming them into revenue-expanding side channels and podcasts. The new enhancements enable users to automatically generate transcriptions of new or existing recordings, and to caption pre-recorded, archived files for web and mobile streaming. The resulting captions can be exported as SRT, WebVTT or JSON files, while complete transcripts can be saved for later use. 

SGrecast’s new transcription abilities bring benefits to both content producers and their audiences. The cloud-based solution’s highly-granular search functionality can leverage the transcripts and captions to help operators find exactly the content they need in just seconds. Search precision is further empowered by enCaption4’s remarkably high accuracy, made possible by ENCO’s deep neural network approach to voice recognition. Individual speakers can also be identified and labelled to enhance subsequent searching.Content providers can effortlessly publish feature-rich media players with captions, bolstering accessibility for hearing-impaired viewers while also supporting multi-lingual applications.

SGrecast’s enCaption-powered speech-to-text capabilities further deepen StreamGuys’ already-extensive portfolio of podcast production, monetization and management tools. In addition to the SGrecast platform, StreamGuys offers podcast hosting, dynamic advertising insertion and a robust, cloud-based delivery infrastructure that together form an end-to-end podcasting system spanning content creation through distribution.

StreamGuys director of technology Eduardo Martinez will also share insights and expertise with IBC conference-goers in the session “Power of the podcast: How to reach new audiences through audio,” taking place Friday, September 14 from 2:45pm to 3:30pm CEST. Eduardo will join expert co-panelists from The New York Times and ITV in exploring the latest podcasting business models and monetization opportunities.

“The new automated transcription capabilities continue SGrecast’s hallmarks of enabling customers to unlock the full potential of their podcast content while minimizing manual effort and costs,” said Martinez. “ENCO’s enCaption4 engine ensures that transcripts and captions are created with exceptional speed and accuracy, and combines with the robust content management and search features of SGrecast to help customers find and repurpose content with captions faster and more easily than ever before.”

The integration of SGrecast and enCaption4 is the latest step in the strong partnership between StreamGuys and ENCO, which aims to seamlessly bring together streaming and automation workflows for the production and delivery of TV and radio programming including Visual Radio. StreamGuys multi-format encoding services help broadcasters deliver ENCO-driven program content to web, mobile and OTT devices, while SGrecast lets operators easily convert live streams into podcasts and launch new streams within ENCO’s DAD (radio), MOM (TV) or Visual Radio systems. (Source:IBC Show News)

MultiDyne Breaks Ground in IP-Enhanced Camera-Back Fiber Transport with SilverBack V

MultiDyne Breaks Ground in IP-Enhanced Camera-Back Fiber Transport with SilverBack VFlexible, 12 G-capable, camera-mounted solution combines forward-looking IP and fiber transport convergence with compact, lightweight new form factor.

MultiDyne Fiber Optic Solutions has designated IBC2018 as the European debut of Silver Back V, the latest innovation in its popular Silver Back series of camera-mounted fiber transport solutions. The industry’s first 12G- and 4K-capable camera-back system to incorporate an IP output, the SilverBack V elegantly enables the convergence of fiber and IP-based production workflows while building on the renowned flexibility and robustness of the SilverBack family. MultiDyne will demonstrate the SilverBack V at IBC 2018 from September 14-18 at Stand 11.D40 at the RAI Convention and Exhibition Centre in Amsterdam.

MultiDyne’s extensive range of SilverBack camera-back transceivers are well-known for simplifying infrastructures,enhancing connection flexibility and providing the high-bandwidth performance needed by Ultra HD formats. SilverBack Vadds to this powerful fiber transport foundation by integrating an IP Gateway into the Silver Back V base station, enabling users to deliver content to studios and mobile production vehicles over both SDI and IP network connectivity.

“While point-to-point transport over dark fiber continues to offer the greatest bandwidth efficiencies for the high data rates needed in live 4K and 8K productions, the adoption of IP-based networks in broadcast and production workflows is accelerating,” said Frank Jachetta, president, MultiDyne. “SilverBack V seamlessly converges the advantages of fiber transport with a gateway to multipoint IP networking, protecting customers’ long-term investments while delivering immediate, practical benefits today.”

In addition to its future-friendly IP capabilities, SilverBack V also brings a wealth of new features and benefits to fiber usersin markets ranging from electronic newsgathering (ENG) and live sports coverage to motion picture productions and other remote contribution applications. SilverBack V supports both single-link 12G and quad-link 3G SDI connectivity, maximizing 4K Ultra HD signal interface flexibility. The SilverBack V base station supports two camera heads simultaneously, enabling exceptional cost-effectiveness and space savings. A built-in multiviewer provides live monitoring of both camera feeds, with audio monitoring available as an option.

The space-efficiency of the dual-camera base station is paralleled by the reduced width of the SilverBack V camera-back unit, which makes it the most compact unit in the SilverBack family to date. The significantly narrower design enables a much lighter camera-back load and eases operator mobility while still ensuring proper overall weight balance between the camera-back, body and lens. MultiDyne is also working closely with camera vendors including Sony, Panasonic, Canon, JVC and more to develop specific SilverBack V designs tailored to the connection points, color, texture and ergonomics of each camera.

In addition to supporting 12Gbp/s and 3Gbp/s connections, SilverBack V also combines 1.5Gb/s video, audio, intercom, camera control, tally, data and power onto a single tactical cable, SMPTE hybrid fiber cable, and/or IP network connection.Integrated expansion slots support a variety of interchangeable I/O connectivity modules for frictionless interoperability with other MultiDyne fiber transport systems and third-party products. (Source:IBC Show News)

ENCO and Octopus Partner to Streamline Newsroom Production and Playout

ENCO and Octopus Partner to Streamline Newsroom Production and PlayoutTight integration between highly-regarded automation and NRCS solutions leverages MOS protocol and custom plug-in to simplify workflows for radio and television journalists.

Radio and television automation innovator ENCO and newsroom computer system (NRCS) specialist Octopus Newsroom have partnered to streamline news production and playout workflows for broadcasters worldwide. Leveraging the two companies’ robust support for the Media Object Server (MOS) protocol, seamlessintegration between their respective solutions eliminates disruptive workflow barriers to let journalists focus on creating compelling, informative stories.

The integration will be highlighted at the IBC2018 exhibition, where ENCO will exhibit at stand 8.A59 and Octopus will showcase its solutions in stand 7.A39.

ENCO’s MOS-enabled ActiveX plugin enables journalists and news producers to access ENCO asset libraries directly within the Octopus client interface. Users can search the ENCO library, preview clips, trim media as needed, and bring the results into their stories by simply dragging and dropping the desired items. Building on the Octopus software’s ability to combine multiple media elements within each story, the integration allows journalists to easily incorporate library assets including graphics, audio and video into their scripts.

Avoiding the need for producers to manually push rundowns, running order changes in the Octopus NRCS are automatically reflected in the ENCO automation system. The Octopus software can then trigger the ENCO system via the MOS protocol to play out the assets.

While the integration was initially qualified for radio broadcasters using Octopus Newsroom with ENCO’s DAD audio automation system, the same MOS Gateway interface is used in ENCO’s MOM (Media Operations Manager) television automation platform – thus enabling a similarly efficient workflow for Octopus-powered TV news organizations.

“Working with ENCO to integrate our solutions was a true pleasure,” said Milan Varga, Technology Partners Manager at Octopus Newsroom. “Other integrations we’ve done have often been a bit clunky initially and needed a lot of development refinements, but the integration between ENCO and Octopus worked almost seamlessly right out of the box with only minor configuration adjustments. This shows that ENCO follows the MOS specifications very closely and has kept up to date with advances in the MOS protocol. The result seamlessly bridges news production and playout to make operation easy for journalists.”

“We continue to expand our ecosystem of third-party integrations to let customers flexibly choose exactly the right solutions for their needs,” said Ken Frommert, President of ENCO. “Octopus offers a strong NRCS solution and has built a solid international market presence, particularly in Asia and Europe. Our new partnership and integration let existing and future Octopus radio and television clients easily take advantage of the benefits of our full-featured automation solutions.”

ENCO MOM offers television broadcasters, cable operators and streaming media providers a comprehensive, reliable and cost-effective platform for organizing, managing and automating critical production and integrated channel playout tasks. ENCO DADprovides radio broadcasters with a powerful and flexible audio playout automation, control and management system that ensuresreliable, accurate delivery of audio content on time, every time.

Octopus 8.1 is a powerful, innovative newsroom computer system designed for use by television, radio, sports and esports broadcasters. The software facilitates editorial collaboration between news team members at every stage of the newscast production process, and goes beyond broadcast by providing tools to publish content to the web and social media channels from a single platform. (Source:IBC Show News)

AVIWEST — Stand 2.B31

AVIWESTAt IBC2018, AVIWEST will demonstrate the latest enhancements to its live video contribution and distribution systems. AVIWEST's advanced video contribution platform enables broadcasters to capture and deliver live 4K, HD, or SD video over multiple unmanaged IP networks, including bonded 4G/3G cellular, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and satellite links.

First-Class HEVC Remote Field Unit Boosts Video Quality, Reduces Data Consumption

At IBC2018, AVIWEST will unveil its all-new PRO3 Series, which includes an integrated best-in-class H.265/HEVC hardware encoder in the most compact design enclosure available. Using the PRO3, video professionals can seamlessly provide high-quality news and event coverage, while supporting the HEVC video standard.

With up to 12 network links (eight cellular modems, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet), a high-efficiency custom antenna array, and AVIWEST SafeStreams® technology, the new PRO3 Series allows broadcasters to deliver better video quality while consuming less data. Providing high versatility, the PRO3 Series is the ideal companion for on-the-go video professionals that need a robust and reliable solution.

New Uplink System Sets the Benchmark for On-the-Go Live Video Production

Featuring a powerful, ultra-lightweight design, the AIR Series is perfect for on-the-go video professionals, providing them with portable, versatile, and affordable solutions.

Integrating best-in-class hardware encoders, the series enables flawless HD and SD encoding and exceptional video quality. Featuring up to six network links (four cellular modems, one internal Wi-Fi, and one Ethernet), a three-hour internal battery, and AVIWEST's SafeStreams® technology, the AIR Series allows broadcasters to stream live videos seamlessly and store and forward recorded content — even during unpredictable and unmanaged network conditions.

State-of-the-Art 4K and Multi-HD Video Encoding and Distribution

AVIWEST's HE4000 4K UHD HEVC live encoder is ideal for real-time delivery of UHD and HD content over unmanaged IP networks. The compact, half 1-RU encoder combines 10-bit and 4:2:2 HEVC encoding with the latest generation of SafeStreams® technology for delivery of live video content over IP at low latencies and bit rates.

The HE4000 encoder will be showcased with the recent QUAD CellLink, an external 3G/4G-LTE cellular transmission solution that embeds four last-generation 3G/4G-LTE cellular modems with their SIM cards. Together, it's the perfect companion for broadcasters that need higher performance and enhanced connection reception in critical conditions for live video transmission over bonded cellular networks. A powerful alternative to traditional satellite or microwave transmissions, AVIWEST's solution reduces the high costs associated with these alternative methods.

Empowering Mobile Journalist Creativity With MOJOPRO Series

AVIWEST has enhanced its MOJOPRO Series, an industry-leading mobile journalism solution that is available on mobile devices (iOS and Android™) and MacBook® Pro. MOJOPRO allows video professionals to stream live videos flawlessly, edit video files, and forward recorded content from any location over bonded 3G/4G and Wi-Fi connections in just seconds. The MOJOPRO app for iOS gives broadcasters a competitive edge by enabling them to stream video content in a matter of seconds. The smartphone app features an optimized interface, advanced camera settings (e.g., focus, exposure, white balance, etc.), dynamic resolution, and video quality improvements. Easy-to-use video and audio editing features allow remote journalists to create video stories in minutes.

Live 360 TV Demo For Efficient Delivery of Immersive Video Experiences 

AVIWEST will participate in a Live 360 TV demo at the IBC Future Zone. To address the rapidly growing consumer demand for virtual reality and immersive experiences, AVIWEST will demonstrate an end-to-end live streaming solution for distribution and decoding of broadcast-quality 360-degree audio and video content on multiple displays. (Source:IBC Show News)

Qvest Media introduces Qvest.Cloud. Revolutionary cloud management platform

Qvest Media introduces Qvest.Cloud. Revolutionary cloud management platformAt this year’s IBC in Amsterdam (stand 3.B40), Qvest Media will be showcasing its latest product development, Qvest.Cloud, in a pre-launch presentation. Qvest.Cloud is an advanced management platform that enables third-party cloud applications to be networked into one integrated end-to-end workflow and used and monitored via a central user interface. Integral components of the platform that has been designed as cloud native application are cross-application functions such as workflow orchestration, cloud automation, user management with single sign-on, access management, monitoring, measuring & billing and comprehensive IT security.

With Qvest.Cloud it is easier than ever to integrate and operate media services and applications using modern web technologies. Qvest.Cloud completely breaks down the barriers between installations in local data centres, private clouds and public clouds – such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud. Based on an open interface design, third-party IT and media applications can be easily aggregated with Qvest.Cloud, merged together and used without having to deal with the hurdles of as many user and administration interfaces: Qvest.Cloud gives users direct access to all functions enabled for them.

This benefits not only traditional media companies, but all companies wishing to efficiently manage, edit, distribute and monetise media assets along their digital media supply chain. With Qvest.Cloud, almost all business processes and media workflows can be accelerated and made agile in order to be able to react flexibly to changing market conditions and production requirements at any time. Vertical and horizontal scalability of the Qvest.Cloud platform allow for the short-term and temporary addition of required services and additional computing power. Load peaks of on-premise applications can be automatically scaled using cloud resources as a hybrid solution, eliminating the need for the technically complex and cost-intensive expansion of locally operated infrastructures. Contract management is also radically simplified, as only one usage contract is concluded with Qvest Media.

Qvest Media offers its new product for applications of all sizes: from pay-as-you-go models and bundles for traditional media production to tailored corporate solutions and enterprise installations that can be used to integrate the infrastructural requirements of large companies.

“After a multi-stage evaluation process, we made the decision in autumn 2017 to realise Qvest.Cloud. The acquisition of the software specialist HMS media solutions was subsequently completed and we entered into development. Qvest.Cloud will be fully market-ready at the NAB show next year“, says Peter Nöthen, CEO of Qvest Media Group. “The pre-launch at IBC is an important milestone on this development path. Here we will get to know first-hand what business and technological aspects can play an additional role for Qvest.Cloud. Moreover, the trade show offers the best opportunity to win further manufacturers and partners for the Qvest.Cloud ecosystem“, Nöthen continues. 

Qvest Media will be presenting Qvest.Cloud to the public at its stand 3.B40 at this year’s IBC in Amsterdam for the first time. In live demonstrations, visitors will have the opportunity to gain their first views of the product range, as well as the functionality and use cases of Qvest.Cloud. (Source:IBC Show News)

ZEE pulls out all content from Jio due to disagreement over pricing

ZEE pulls out all content from Jio due to disagreement over pricingSubhash Chandra-promoted Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEE) has removed all its content from Mukesh Ambaniowned Reliance Jio, including 35 live TV channels and more than 2 lakh hours of video-on-demand content after failing to arrive at an agreement on price.

While the two companies have remained tight-lipped about the reason for the move, highly placed sources told ET that both sides couldn’t agree on a viable commercial agreement. It was on Monday August 6, when ZEE management decided to withdraw the content from Reliance Jio Digital Services, terminating a multi-year deal the two companies had signed in mid-2016.

On Tuesday, all the 35 channels of ZEE, including popular channels like Zee TV, Zee Cinema, Zee Marathi and others went dark on Jio TV, the live TV app exclusive to Jio subscribers. The Jio TV app allows users to watch live TV channels with up to 7 days of catch-up TV content. ZEE also removed its library content — non-air shows and movies – that was part of the deal and was offered to Jio subscribers via Jio Cinema app. “There are commercial issues. Jio has grown too quickly and today has over 215 million subscribers.

Many subscribers consume live TV channels on Jio TV. ZEE seems to be looking for a better commercial arrangement, which Jio did not favour,” said a highly placed source with direct knowledge of the development.

A Jio spokesperson told ET that Jio is committed to offering the “widest range” of digital services and applications and entertainment options to its customers on its technology platforms. “Jio is working with all the participants in the eco-system in a way that creates win-win relationship for consumers, broadcasters and others alike,” the spokesperson said without confirming the development.

A ZEE spokesperson refused to comment on the development. In its AGM last month, Mukesh Ambani, chairman, Reliance Industries, announced that Jio had 215 million users on its network within 22 months of operation. He mentioned that data usage on Jio platform was at 240 crore GBs per month, while video consumption had grown to 340 crore hours per month. (Source: Economic Times)

IBM to end digital spending waste via blockchain process

IBM to end digital spending waste via blockchain processKeen on developing a programme to provide a comprehensive view of supply chain. IBM is developing a blockchain process that will help end digital spending waste and address transparency and trust issues among advertising partners.Matthew Candy, Vice-President and Global Leader for IBM iX, told BusinessLine that IBM has been using its Artificial Intelligence (AI) system Watson since last year to target consumers in programmatic ad buys, and in the process significantly reduce costs. Programmatic ad buying is the algorithmic purchase and sale of advertising space in real time, wherein software is used to automate the buying, placement and optimisation of media inventory via a bidding system.

As the advertising industry faces unsustainable economics and transparency issues, particularly around intermediary fees and non-working media, IBM’s solution aims to provide a comprehensive view of the supply chain and tackle its opacity from the rapid proliferation of intermediaries, which makes it difficult for both advertisers and agencies to identify exactly how much spend is going towards ‘working media’.

A new ad-focussed blockchain consortium was announced by IBM iX and advertising software provider MediaOcean at the recent Cannes Lions Festival of ceativity.

Brand safety, transparency
The digital media supply chain is powered by the blockchain protocol, called Hyperledger, developed by IBM and made open source.
Since blockchain cannot be altered, it helps with brand safety and media transparency. The blockchain environment will be built on MediaOcean’s campaign management platform, which already handles more than $140 billion in annual ad spending.

Candy says the idea is to check every step of an ad campaign: right from the purchase order to the media execution. Since all of it is recorded on blockchain, it solves the challenge of media spend transparency. Candy said the aim was to remove business friction in advertising. (Source: The Hindu BusinessLine)


Sony Pictures Network, Star India stack up for sports broadcast rights

Sony Pictures Network, Star India stack up for sports broadcast rightsStar India has the ICC event's rights and the IPL under its belt among major cricket media rights, while SPN has over the past year acquired the rights to CA, ECB and the South Africa Cricket Board
The Indian sports broadcast landscape could look like a mirror image of itself from last year, if the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) gave the rights of the matches to Sony Pictures Network India (SPN).Last year around this time, Star India had the rights to events from three major boards, BCCI, Cricket Australia (CA) and England Cricket Board (ECB), along with those from the International Cricket Council (ICC). SPN on the other hand had the Vivo Indian Premier League at the centre of its cricket portfolio along with international boards, including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and West Indies.

At present, Star India has the ICC event’s rights and the IPL under its belt among major cricket media rights, while SPN has over the past year acquired the rights to CA, ECB and the South Africa Cricket Board. In February, Star India also won the rights for audio-visual production services for IPL and BCCI domestic cricket for the 2018-19 season. The BCCI, earlier this year, called for bids for media rights for the 2018-2023 period. Interested bidders could pick up tender documents for Rs 680,000 ($10,000).

Star India

  • International Cricket Council (ICC)
  • VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL)
  • New Zealand Cricket Board
  • Bangladesh Cricket Board
  • Asian Cricket Council (ACC)
  • Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL)
  • Karnataka Premier League (KPL)

Sony Pictures Network

  • Cricket Australia (CA)
  • England and Wales cricket board (ECB)
  • Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)
  • Sri Lanka Cricket
  • Cricket South Africa
  • Cricket West Indies
  • Zimbabwe Cricket Board
  • Caribbean Premier league
  • Big Bash
  • MCA T20 league
  • (Source: Business Standard)
Aircel’s woes rise as majority shareholder Maxis decides not to infuse more funds

Aircel’s woes rise as majority shareholder Maxis decides not to infuse more fundsAircel’s shareholders have invested $7 b to date with zero return, says Maxis arm
More trouble is brewing for beleaguered telecom operator Aircel, with its Malaysian promoter Maxis Communications deciding against pumping additional funds into the company. Aircel was weighing various options, including venturing into 4G services through partnerships, but this requires fresh investments.
“Global Communication Services Holdings (GCSH) has completed all its obligations to fund Aircel in the past. Aircel shareholders have invested $7 billion to date with zero return. Additional funding by shareholders is unviable, given industry competition, and onerous legal and regulatory action,” GCSH, a Mauritius-based subsidiary of Maxis Communications, said in an email response to BusinessLine.

According to sources close to the development, this follows a Joint Lenders’ Forum meeting held on February 20, wherein the lenders had sought additional funding from shareholders. Led by State Bank of India, the lenders, including China Development Bank, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank and Punjab National Bank, also stated that Aircel will have to cease operations in case shareholders decline to infuse funds. Maxis holds a 74 per cent stake in the company, while the remaining 26 per cent is held by Sindya Securities & Investments.

Aircel, in its board meeting, also said that the Department of Telecommunications is unlikely to release its ₹450-crore bank guarantee in the wake of recent reports on its insolvency, sources said.

Earlier in the month, three board members — Suneeta Reddy, Uthaya Kumar and Umesh Jain — resigned. One of them said there were multiple issues, including failure to take the company to Srategic Debt Restructuring (SDR) and lack of contingency plans. The director also claimed that the crisis could have been averted if Aircel had brought in a corporate debtor and put a solvency plan in place.
Later, on February 18, Aircel inducted three new board members — Prakash Radheshyam Mishra, Sandeep Vats and Lakshmi Subramanian — in place of those who resigned.

A source close to Aircel said: “The management had a plan to make the company viable and successful, including engaging with bankers for SDR. This was signed on January 25, but the RBI, in a February 12 circular, cancelled all SDRs and CDRs and mandated all resolutions have to be made in 180 days”. Aircel is now approaching the NCLT for revival, he added. An e-mail sent to Aircel went unanswered at the time of going to press. (Source: The Hindu Business Line)

Electronic security firm Zicom bets big on IoT, eyes revenue of ₹200 cr by 2020

Electronic security firm Zicom bets big on IoT, eyes revenue of ₹200 cr by 2020Electronic security systems player Zicom on Sunday said it is looking at significant growth in the Internet of Things (IoT) and SaaS market place to clock a service revenue of about ₹200 crore by 2020.

“Zicom has moved from being a pure play, physical security company into an IoT and SaaS IT Services business model. With the exponential internet penetration growing in the country, Zicom is all set to take full advantage to become the market leader within the Internet of Things (IoT) and SaaS place,” Pramoud Rao, Managing Director, Zicom Electronic Security System, told PTI here.

“We have notched up a revenue of around ₹50 crore in fiscal 2017 and expect to reach service revenue of ₹175 crore to ₹200 crore by 2020,” he said. “We are now looking at new avenues to grow the business by adopting newer technologies, like artificial intelligence. We are also investing in deep learning in the domain of access control as well as towards introducing voice-based security services under the Amazon, Alexa platform,” Rao said.

IoT growth prospects
The IoT market continues to see strong growth. The worldwide IoT market spend will grow from $625.2 billion in 2015 to $1.29 trillion in 2020, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.6 per cent, he said. The installed base of IoT end points will grow from $12.1 billion at the end of 2015 to more than $30 billion by 2020. The Indian security industry is in a state of big transition due to SaaS, IoT, smart city and safe city trends, he added. In 2013, the company started taking steps towards gaining leadership in the IoT space. It has set up the country’s largest command and control centre with service network in over 1,100 cities.

The approach was to provide business intelligence using safety and security, club it with loss prevention features, offering information on the mobile devises, Rao said. The Indian security market in 2017, according to Gartner, is growing at the rate of 10.6 per cent, from $1.24 billion and the number of connected devices in India is estimated to be around $200 million. This is expected to increase $3 billion in 2020.

Hence, it augurs well for the security market in India and players such as Zicom will have major role to play in the coming years, he said.

Reactive to proactive
Since the business model offers considerable cost reduction, without the customer having to invest or manage the equipment, Zicom’s pioneering concept met up with huge success since the USP offered by the company was a huge paradigm shift within the security industry, namely CCTVs systems always recorded a crime, Zicom prevented the crime, from reactive to being proactive, Rao said. In the case of ATM e-surveillance, the cost of managing an ATM was averaging between ₹30,000-40,000 for the bank. By using the e-surveillance technology, the cost was reduced to a mere ₹4,000. This saved the bank almost 90 per cent on the safety and security cost, he added. (Source: The Hindu BusinessLine)

Online players outnumber TV broadcasters for IPL media rights

Online players outnumber TV broadcasters for IPL media rightsDigital media platforms seem to outnumber traditional broadcasters when it comes to bidding for the rights of the Indian Premier League. A total of 24 players have picked up the tender documents and are already in the fray for the auction to the media rights, which is scheduled to open on September 4. The Board of Control for Cricket in India will be conducting the bidding on Monday. Industry observers point that a slew of digital players in the bidding process signifies the growing importance of online as a category.

Companies will be bidding for two major categories -- broadcast and digital (Internet and mobile) rights. Besides linear broadcasters such as Star India and Sony Pictures Network, new entrants in the digital category include Reliance Jio Digital, Amazon Seller Service, Yupp TV, Airtel, Twitter, ESPN Digital Media, Times Internet, Facebook, Yahoo, BAMTech and DAZN/Perform group, among others.
Several company spokespersons BusinessLine spoke with indicated that they would be bidding for the media rights.

“Viewers want anytime, anywhere convenience of watching. With data packages getting cheaper, it is only imperative that this viewership is going to grow in coming years and live events are a sure short bet,” digital broadcasters point. According to experts, BCCI could make windfall gains of Rs. 13,000-Rs 15,000 crore.

According to Duff & Phelps, a premier global valuation and corporate finance advisor, the overall value of IPL as a business has increased to $5.3 billion from $4.2 billion last year. Duff & Phelps, which brought out the report IPL: The Decade Edition: A Concise Report on Brand Values in the Indian Premier League, also had said the new broadcasting rights auction will be a keenly watched development.

“The BCCI is clearly set for a huge windfall. We could be looking at a television broadcasting deal of record proportions. This deal may follow the precedent set by some of the big-ticket broadcasting deals across the world,” Santosh N, MD-Valuation Advisory Services, Duff & Phelps said in a statement.

Duff and Phelps also noted that digital content is becoming a very strong medium of social media engagement for sports viewers.
BCCI auctions were to be held on August 28. However, it was pushed to September 4 as a case regarding electronic auctions was pending in the Supreme Court.

Currently, Sony Pictures Network has the broadcast rights until this year’s IPL edition. It had paid Rs. 8,200 crore for a 10-year deal in 2008. The digital rights of IPL wrests with Star India. BCCI had said the digital rights for the last three years had fetched just over Rs. 300 crore.

All the rights will be for a period of five years from 2018-2022. Vinod Rai, the Chairman of the Committee of Administrators, was appointed by the Supreme Court of India in January to supervise the BCCI to ensure that it worked according to the guidelines of the Lodha recommendation.

Pointers:

  • Auction postponed to Sep 4 from Aug 28
  • 24 bidders in fray including host of digital players
  • TV broadcast, mobile and digital rights are major categories for which companies are set to bid
  • New rights will be for a five-year period 2018-2022
    (Source : The Hindu BusinessLine)
Smart Health: Oracle

Smart Health: Oracle“As India’s masses experience the benefits of technology in every aspect of their lives, the demand for access to smarter technologies in healthcare is more than ever before. Giving citizens access to smart healthcare facilities is a key priority for the Government and it has emerged as an important aspect of any smart city plan. For smart technologies to take off in healthcare, there is a need to eliminate duplicate patient identities and have a single point of reference that would include information about the patient, his/her healthcare needs, doctor and other healthcare entities.

This single point of reference enables real-time availability of unified, trusted data for strategic healthcare initiatives including: population health management, care coordination, patient satisfaction and healthcare analytics. To see a LIVE Demo of Oracle’s Smart Health solution in addition to solutions like Smart Parking, Smart Water, Smart Mobility, Safe City, Smart Waste Management and many more, visit Oracle OpenWorld in Pragati Maidan on May 09 & 10. Register here. Click on the enclosed case study to understand how Health Sciences South Carolina has achieved interoperability across multiple facilities.

Health Sciences South Carolina Improves Community-Wide Care Quality and Research”
(Source: Convergence Plus)

I&B Ministry to look at ways to boost community radios

I&B Ministry to look at ways to boost community radiosEarlier this week, I&B Minister Venkaiah Naidu chaired the meeting of the consultative committee of the Ministry to discuss the roadmap for developing community radio stations.
NEW DELHI, APRIL 2:
In a bid to promote community radio stations in the country, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting will analyse the business models of successful community radio stations operating at present. Sources said this will be done as part of the Ministry’s efforts to facilitate development of sustainable and robust business models of community radio stations and propagate best practices, as part of the hand-holding process for aspiring applicants.

It will also look at ways to further simplify, fast-track and streamline the process of approval for licenses needed to run community radio stations, sources added.
Community radio stations are set up by educational institutions, universities as well as non-government organisations (NGOs) and are largely focused on development issues concerning the communities in regional languages and dialect.
At present, 202 community radio stations are operational across the country.
Earlier this week, I&B Minister Venkaiah Naidu chaired the meeting of the consultative committee of the Ministry to discuss the roadmap for developing community radio stations.
He pointed out that the Ministry had recently enhanced the subsidy amount for setting up community radio stations from 50 per cent to 90 per cent in the north-eastern States and 75 per cent in other States, subject to maximum limit of ₹7.5 lakh.
In January, the Ministry gave permission to community radio stations to broadcast news and current affairs sourced from All India Radio, besides introducing other amendments to ease the way for setting up such stations.
The Indian Institute of Mass Communication will also offer consultancy and training services on running community radio stations, as it is setting up an empowerment and resource centre at its campus.
So far, the Ministry has organised 79 workshops to create awareness among aspiring applicants about issues relating to setting up, operation and maintenance of community radio stations.
The Committee has also recommended further enhancing awareness and streamlining the clearance process for setting up community radio stations. (Source: The Hindu Businessline)

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