Editorial Team

In line with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, IIT Kanpur, in collaboration with Prasar Bharati and Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India (TSDSI) organized a Conclave on ‘Direct to Mobile and 5G Broadband – Convergence Roadmap for India’. In the event held at Prasar Bharati in Delhi on June 1, 2022, a demonstration of NextGen Broadcast technology, and its live Proof-of-Concept was showcased, and a white paper on Direct-to-Mobile Broadcasting in India was released as well.

The Conclave was attended by eminent personalities from the fields of Telecommunication, Broadband technology and Broadcast industry including TRAI Chairman Dr. PD Vaghela, Secretary of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Apurva Chandra, Chairman of TSDSI NG Subramaniam, Member (Technology) at Department of Telecommunications AK Tiwari, Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati, IIT Kanpur Director Prof. Abhay Karandikar, and DG of TSDSI Ms Pamela Kumar. A video message of K. Rajaraman, Secretary, Department of Telecommunications, was also played as part of the inaugural addresses.

Delivering the inaugural address at the Conclave, TRAI Chairman Dr. PD Vaghela said that Direct-to-Mobile and 5G Broadcast conclave presents the opportunity to bring together broadcast, mobile, broadband, media and all other related stakeholders. We all know that the digitization of services has resulted in the convergence of individual delivery & consumer devices. The drive to provide broader services is stimulating the broadcast & broadband operators to converge into each other. It is now possible for broadband services to offer broadcasting services and vice-versa.

Speaking from the consumer perspective, Secretary I&B Apurva Chandra said, “The convergence between Direct-to-Mobile and 5G Broadband will improve consumption of broadband and utilization of spectrum in India. Almost everybody now is consuming video content through their mobiles, news can be seen on mobile through Apps, and even Prasar Bharati has its own NewsOnAir App which has a large consumer base. This convergence between Direct-to-Mobile and 5G Broadband will entail some changes in infrastructure and some regulatory changes.”

“The solution for satisfying the need for connectivity is to create a converged network. The convergence of broadcast, broadband & cellular networks addresses the problem of the coexistence of this network,” said K. Rajaraman, Secretary, Department of Telecommunication, in his video message.

Chairman of TSDSI NG Subramaniam said that the Cellular industry is adopting 5G at scale and the broadcast industry now has become a part of internet, WIFI & 5G. Together, these will drive the next wave of digital transformation across the world, in some way as connectivity forms the backbone of this new era.

In a one-on-one interaction with the CEO of Saankhya Labs Parag Naik, Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati said that in a country like India, you are limited by reach of traditional TV network. Sovereign countries can’t be dependent on third party for mass communication.

IIT Kanpur Director Prof. Abhay Karandikar, in his inaugural address, said that the increased video consumption, especially the streaming services, along with a host of new services like IoT, Group connections, emergency response communication systems, etc, have created a need and support for multi-cast, broadcast services in wireless networks.

DG of TSDSI Ms Pamela Kumar said that this is the right time for broadcast broadband convergence to be launched in India. India should pioneer and pilot it because we have the biggest need, being the number one data consumer in mobile communication.

The white paper released at the Conclave envisions realizing Direct-to-Mobile Broadcasting capabilities in India by convergence of Direct-to-Mobile and 5G Broadband and makes recommendations for various stakeholders to act on to achieve the same.

It’s a win-win for all the stakeholders as Direct-to-Mobile (D2M) Broadcasting will enable viewers to watch unlimited Videos at a very low cost. There will not be any buffering in the videos. For broadcasters, D2M will exponentially enhance their reach to new consumers and untapped markets. D2M will serve national interest by ensuring maximum utilization of limited Spectrum available with the country. For government, D2M will help in effective governance by instant Mass Communication on issues of national and strategic interests.

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