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Data consumption has already seen a spike in the last few weeks and more usage could lead to internet speeds taking a h...
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Video OTT players in India to suspend HD services on mobile till April 14

Data consumption has already seen a spike in the last few weeks and more usage could lead to internet speeds taking a h...
  • All video OTT players in India have announced that they will suspend their HD services to reduce mobile network congestion.
  • These voluntary measures will be in effect until April 14.
  • The step is in response to COAI's request to the Department of Telecommunications and OTT players to ensure that load on the network is reduced.
All video OTT players in India have announced that they will suspend their HD services till April 14. The decision comes in response to the Cellular Operators Association of India’s (COAI) request to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and prominent OTT players to only stream content in Standard Definition (SD).

With a 21-day lockdown that was announced by PM Narendra Modi last night (Tuesday), people will be completely locked down at home. An obvious effect of this is, people will end up consuming more data. Data consumption has already seen a spike in the last few weeks and the COAI’s letter was a response to this, considering more usage could lead to internet speeds taking a hit across the country.

The COAI had also written to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) urging the government to issue advisories to all the concerned platforms, including Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Hotstar, Zee5, Alt Balaji, Voot, Sony Liv, Viuclip, Hoichoi, Netflix and SunNXT to undertake technical measures to help ease the pressure. It had also asked the platforms, in a separate letter to remove ads and pop-ups that consume high bandwidth, while asking them to put up public announcements on awareness around the Coronavirus.

To reach a decision on this, a meeting was organised on March 24, 2020 by Uday Shankar, Chairman, Star & Disney India, with key stakeholders of the digital industry. The meeting, held virtually, was attended by NP Singh (Sony), Sanjay Gupta (Google), Ajit Mohan (Facebook), Sudhanshu Vats (Viacom18), Gaurav Gandhi (Amazon Prime Video), Punit Goenka (Zee), Nikhil Gandhi (Tiktok), Ambika Khurana (Netflix), Karan Bedi (MX Player) and Varun Narang (Hotstar).

The players unanimously agreed to immediately adopt measures, including temporarily defaulting HD and ultra-HD streaming to SD content or offering only SD content, at bit rates no higher than 480p on cellular networks. These voluntary measures will be in effect until April 14. All participants are immediately taking measures.

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