Info-tech

Covid-19: Digital players shift to SD streaming on cellular networks as consumption surge

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on March 25, 2020 Published on March 25, 2020

The industry has come together to ensure robustness of cellular network amid 21-days lockdown to curb Covid-19 crisis

In the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a lockdown, which raises concerns about its impact on the cellular network infrastructure, key stakeholders of the digital industry have agreed to immediately adopt measures. This includes 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.

This was decided at a virtual meeting organised on March 24 by Uday Shankar, Chairman, Star & Disney India, with 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 industry said in a statement on Wednesday.

“It was unanimously agreed that as an exceptional measure, all companies will immediately adopt measures, including temporarily defaulting HD and ultra-HD streaming to SD content or offering only SD content, at bitrates no higher than 480p on cellular networks. These voluntary measures will be in effect until April 14. All participants are immediately taking measures,” it said.

The digital industry has decided to act immediately in the larger national and consumer interest, and to ensure the robustness of the cellular network, it said.

The Prime Minister’s call for social distancing and now a total lockdown has led to people staying at their homes and this has caused an unprecedented surge in mobile internet consumption, it said. As a result, the Government and the telecom operators are concerned about its potential impact on the cellular network infrastructure, it added.

“The digital industry is acutely aware of this challenge and is committed to ensuring that all citizens are able to access mobile networks wherever and whenever they want. In order to achieve this, a meeting was organized yesterday by Uday Shankar, Chairman, Star & Disney India, with key stakeholders of the digital industry,” it said.

Published on March 25, 2020
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