Convergence Plus
Saturday, June 3, 2023
NBA Needs to Find a Star Player from India

India is a priority market for the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the league will see a surge in popularity in the country once an Indian player makes it to the NBA, said Diane Gotua, vice-president of global business operations at the men’s professional basketball league of North America.

The NBA, which recently hired former Ten Sports CEO Rajesh Sethi as its India managing director, is organising its first-ever India games next month. The Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings will play in two pre-season games in Mumbai on October 4 and 5, marking the first games the NBA has played in India and the first games staged in the country by a North American sports league.

“We are really excited about the India games. It’s a huge deal for us and the fact that the tickets of October 5th game were sold out on the very day of opening of the ticket sales, was a great sign,” Gotua told ET.

For the upcoming India games, the NBA is joined by BookMyShow and AEG as partners. “We have a mix of global and local partners already for the India games, which is very encouraging. We have long-term plans to bring authentic NBA experience to India, and though it took a long time, this is just the starting,” Gotua said, as she has made Mumbai her base ahead of games. She was also serving as interim managing director of India business till Sethi’s appointment last week. (Source: Economic Times)

Broadcasters urge TRAI to defer further regulatory intervention

IBF says frequent tinkering with norms will have an adverse impact on the industry. The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) on Friday urged the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to defer regulatory interventions and allow the industry and other stakeholders enough time to adapt to the new MRP-based tariff regime. It stated that frequent tinkering with regulations and attempts to micro-manage free markets can lead to adverse consequences for the industry.

IBF said that the regulator’s consultation paper comes barely a few months after the implementation of the new tariff order and seeks to make fundamental changes in channel pricing and bouquet formation. “This goes against all norms of a stable regulatory regime necessary for the economic advancement of any industry,” it added.

After receiving consumers complaints, last week the regulator released a consultation paper to bring changes in the current broadcasting regulatory regime and has proposed to put caps on discounts offered on TV channel bouquets to make a-la-carte pricing competitive enough for consumers to be able to choose the channels they want to watch. “TRAI’s consultation paper proceeds on the assumption that consumers are being denied choice of channels by excessive discounts on bouquets. IBF wishes to point out that the cap on bouquet discounts under the NTO (new tariff order) was struck down by the Madras High Court as arbitrary. Further, the global practice in the TV and cable industry is to offer content in bouquets customised to meet the diverse needs of consumer,” the industry body stated.

“The impression being created that broadcasters are gaming the system to push bouquets is incorrect,” it pointed out.

Expressing concerns on promotion of a-la-carte channel at the cost of bouquets, the IBF said that it will adversely impact the viability of small and niche content TV channels. “ Broadcasters will be unwilling to launch new channels and producers will be unwilling to experiment with new content. All this will lead to fewer shows being produced which will have a knockdown effect on downstream production and on employment in the sector,” the IBF’s statement added.

IBF said that over the past few years, the broadcasting industry has gone through several major regulatory changes as it transitioned from CAS to digital addressable system and now to an MRP pricing regime. “ Stability in policy formulation” and “ soft touch in regulatory oversight” is an absolute necessity for the growth of the industry.

“The government’s focus on “ease of doing business” warrants minimal regulatory intervention. Hence regulatory intervention at this early stage in the implementation of the NTO is not only premature but will have disastrous consequences for the broadcasting industry,” IBF added. (Source: The Hindu Businessline)

Tech Mahindra sells 73.38% stake in arm to US-based Resolve Systems for $2 mn

Software major Tech Mahindra on Sunday announced the divestment of 73.38 per cent stake in its subsidiary FixStream Networks Inc to US-based Resolve Systems LLC for $2 million (approx Rs 14.22 crore).

“...In terms of the authority delegated by the Board of Directors we wish to inform divestment of 73.38 per cent equity investment held by the company in FixStream Networks Inc, USA, a subsidiary company,” Tech Mahindra said in a BSE filing.

The company said consideration received from this divestment is $2 million for the equity held by the company, subject to necessary adjustments. Tech Mahindra said FixStream Networks Inc reported a revenue of $5.15 million and a loss of $5.19 million in 2018-19.

The transaction is expected to be completed by November 15 this year, subject to receipt of all statutory approvals. (Source: The Hindu BusinessLine)

Reliance JioFiber Home Broadband rolled out for Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad and more

Reliance JioFiber Home Broadband rolled out for Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad and moreReliance Jio is said to offer a minimum of 100Mbps for the home broadband consumers, and the plans will likely be priced at affordable rates.
Reliance Jio’s Fiber Preview offer has been rolled out in select areas of Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Ahmedabad, Jamnagar, Surat and Vadodara. The service will launch for other cities as well in a phased manner. Jio tweeted the latest details from its official customer support handle JioCare, in response to a query. According to a previous report in Teleanalysis, commercial roll out of Jio’s Fiber to the Home (FTTH) broadband service could take place in June in 2017. Jio is said to offer a minimum of 100Mbps for the home broadband consumers, and the plans will likely be priced at affordable rates.

In September 2016, users had shared details about how the testing had begun in some select residential colonies in the city of Chennai. Several users posted invites by Jio, which invited them to become a part of the ultra-fast fiber home broadband tests. Further, Jio’s Fiber service is rumoured to offer nearly 1GB per second speeds with its broadband internet for homes, according to previous reports.

According to Jio’s invite, it will only take about a minute to download 100 photos (500MB) on Jio’s network. Time taken to download 100 songs (1GB) will be 2 minutes, while True HD movies (5GB) will be downloaded in about 7 minutes on Jio’s network. Reliance Jio is expected to launch a bouquet of services such as DTH, smart-TV boxes, IoT solutions; along side its 1GBps broadband. The had reported in November 2016, that the company has already laid cables all over India for its high-speed fiber broadband network. Pilot services were rolled out in Mumbai.

Even with its Fiber service, Jio is expected to offer “value for the customer” pricing. The Fiber Internet service will be coupled with other Jio services, including a set-top box. Further, we could see Jio’s DTH TV services with with more than 360 channels, and a “seven-day catch up option being given to users” as well. (Source: NDTV)

Wireline broadband: Airtel to fight speed war ahead of Jio's fixed-line launch

Wireline broadband: Airtel to fight speed war ahead of Jio's fixed-line launch“It's quite a substantial cost and comes in millions of dollars and is a part of our capex guideline for this year,” Puri said, adding that the telco has telco scaled up its investments for wireline substantially this year to cater new homes and upgrades connections.
After getting its wireless networks equipped with technologies like carrier aggregation, India’s leading telco Bharti Airtel is now gearing up to fight the speed war on the next front, fixed wireline broadband, in a bid to ring fence its customers in the lead up to Reliance Jio Infocomm’s launch of fixed-line broadband services, likely to start next year.

Airtel has deployed Vectorization technology, a top standard for fixed broadband across Europe, to offer up to 100 Mbps of broadband speeds on its fixed broadband footprint in 87 cities. This is the first deployment in India and one of the largest deployments in the world.

Airtel has selected Chinese gear maker Huawei for the upgradation of its broadband network. The telco is currently offering up to 16 Mbps speeds depending on the location in these cities.

Initially available to customers in Chennai, the upgraded service will soon be available free of cost to the entire Airtel fixed-line broadband customers in coming weeks. Airtel is offering unlimited three months trial offer to new broadband customers to quickly increase the subscriber base in these cities.

“Customers are moving from 2G speeds to 3G/4G broadband speeds now. At home, they need Wi-Fi on a wireline. Requirements for speeds go up substantially as people connect more devices on the same network, therefore it gets important to update the speed,” Ajai Puri, director-operations at Bharti Airtel, told ET. (Source: Economic Times)

BSNL working to increase mobile broadband capacity by up to two-fold

BSNL working to increase mobile broadband capacity by up to two-foldGearing up to compete with private players, state-owned telecom firm BSNL plans to ramp up its mobile broadband capacity by up to two-fold to 600 terrabyte in a month. "We are seeing enormous increase in usage of mobile data on our network. We will be increasing our data network capacity to deliver high-speed 3G and other services. In South, we will double the capacity to 600 TB and in other zones, it will be up to 450 TB by November," BSNL Chairman and MD Anupam Shrivastava told PTI. The loss-making state-run telecom firm did not participate in the spectrum auction and is making efforts to monetise its existing mobile airwaves.

Shrivastava said the recently launched unlimited 3G scheme for Rs 1,099 is one of the key reasons for increase in demand for mobile data on BSNL network. The plan offers unlimited access to 3G without any speed restriction for a period of 30 days.

"In 2012, data usage on BSNL network was around 80 TB. After recent unlimited 3G Internet scheme we have seen sudden jump in data usage. In July it was around 279 TB which has now gone up to 353 TB," Shrivastava said. He said that average data download per customer under the plan has been around 2.2 GB which means 66 GB per customer in a month. This corresponds to storing of around 100 Bollywood movies in a month in medium resolution on smartphones.

On the other hand, at a price of around Rs 1,100, private telecom operators data download limit is in the range of 7GB to 11 GB.
New entrant Reliance Jio is offering unlimited 4G data free till the end of this year. From January 1, the company will offer unlimited 4G data at starting price of Rs 19 but the 'unlimited' 4G usage will remain valid during night hours. Shrivastava said that BSNL is ready to compete with any telecom operator in the market.

"...We will match any tariff in the market. It will be as competitive as any of the players in the market. We are already offering 300 GB of data usage for Rs 249 per month on fixed broadband connection. It is valid for six months and no other operator has been able to match it," Shrivastava said. (

BSNL’s unlimited broadband plan will offer 1GB at less than Re 1

BSNL’s unlimited broadband plan will offer 1GB at less than Re 1State-run BSNL has announced that it will soon launch a promotional unlimited wireline broadband plan that effectively translates into less than Re 1 per GB download cost for subscribers if they use up to 300GB data in a month. Attempting to take Reliance Jio’s 4G offer of Rs 50 per GB head-on, BSNL is looking to hook new customers to its wireline broadband offering. “BSNL is going to launch a very cost-effective and affordable promotional unlimited Broadband plan ‘Experience Unlimited BB 249′ from September 9, 2016,” the telecom PSU said in a statement.

“The plan will enhance the customer experience towards wireline broadband services and attract new users to experience BSNL broadband services,” the corporation’s Chairman cum Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava said in a statement. “Under this plan, customers can download unlimited Broadband data without bothering about any data limit. BSNL shall offer 2 Mbps speed under this plan,” the statement said. BSNL said that if customers use the plan continuously in a month, they can download up to 300 GB data by paying Rs 249. “Hence, per GB data download cost comes out to be less than Re 1 per GB. After six months, customer will be migrated to one of the regular broadband plans based on the choice of the customer,” BSNL said. (Source: Indian Express)

Minimum broadband speed set to zoom 4-fold to 2 mpbs

Minimum broadband speed set to zoom 4-fold to 2 mpbsTired of poor broadband speeds and painfully slow downloads? That's about to change soon, with the government looking to mandate a four-fold increase in the minimum broadband speed — from 512 kbps (kilobits per second) to 2 mbps (megabits per second). Tired of poor broadband speeds and painfully slow downloads? That's about to change soon, with the government looking to mandate a four-fold increase in the minimum broadband speed — from 512 kbps (kilobits per second) to 2 mbps (megabits per second).

"I propose to take up the matter with the communications ministry," IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told TOI. "We will consider laying down a policy for increasing the minimum broadband speed from the current levels." The thriving start-up eco-system across the country and delivery of a variety of consumer services through mobile phone apps, including online retail, taxis and social media, are among the reasons that have led to the push for upgrading the minimum internet speed on wire and wireless networks.

The last time minimum internet speed was revised was in August 2014 when it was doubled from 256 kbps to 512 kbps. Experts and industry analysts say that the present speed is "abysmally slow". Prasad said that he expected telecom operators across the country to "appreciate" the move, which will now be taken up with the various stakeholders. (Source: ET Telecom)

Trai extends dates for views on broadband through public Wi-Fi till Aug 24

Trai extends dates for views on broadband through public Wi-Fi till Aug 24The telecom regulator Friday extended dates for stakeholder comments on issues in proliferation of broadband through public Wi-Fi networks to August 24 and counter comments till September 7. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had issued the consultation paper on July 13, seeking views on policy or regulatory enablers needed for deployment of ubiquitous citywide Wi-Fi networks and whether additional frequency bands need to de-licenced to promote the technology and deepen broadband penetration. "Keeping in view the request of stakeholders for extension of time for sending their comments, it has been decided to extend the last date for submission of written comments," the regulator said.

Trai had sought views on measures required to encourage inter-operability between cellular and Wi-Fi networks and also between Wi-Fi networks of multiple service providers in India and overseas and wanted feedback on whether any regulatory and licensing hurdles could potentially hinder growth of Wi-Fi in public places. It also wanted to know the challenges faced in the authentication procedure for access to Wi-Fi hotspots and ways to ensure simplified access for both domestic users and foreign tourists. (Source: ET Telecom)

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