iWorld

Cable TV, DTH players cautiously optimistic on Jio fiber competition

Stakeholders feel it?d be challenging to take fiber to flat residential areas

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/06/Jio_GigaFiber.jpg?itok=q1r4Z5SR

MUMBAI: The terminator…, oops sorry, the disruptor is back. And, this time it is targeting India’s multi-billion-dollar cable TV and DTH businesses with promises to unleash high-speed fixed line fiber-based broadband services that aims to “connect everyone, and everything, everywhere” --- at least in 1,100 cities to begin with. No wonder the legacy businesses are eyeing the announcement on the launch of Reliance Jio GigaFiber project with a mix of healthy skepticism and optimism.

“It will be a challenge, but then this would increase general awareness about fixed-line broadband (FLBB) services as penetration of wired broadband is pretty low,” Kerala Communicators Cable Ltd (KCCL) CEO Shaji Mathews told Indiantelevision.com when asked about the big bang launch of Jio GigaFiber from 15 August 2018, which is also backed by Reliance Industries’ money power.

According to Mathews, Jio GigaFiber rollout would help getting the focus back on good quality FLLB services as “over the years the industry in general had been focusing on and talking more about wireless broadband”. KCCL is an initiative of independent cable TV operators in Kerala under the guidance of Cable Operators Association (COA), an umbrella union of over 4,000 local cable operators functioning all over the southern state.

What about the gorilla in the room? Mathews, who has spent almost a life time in the cable TV business, was of the opinion that Jio’s entry into the FLLB segment would “bring true value to real players as the capable cable ops will survive” the competition. “Moreover, as the cable companies are already on ground with existing businesses, they have an added benefit of existing fiber optics,” he added optimistically.

Echoing similar sentiments SITI Networks Limited chief business officer Rajesh Sethi, while accepting further disruption --- as in Jio fiber -- was expected in the content delivery eco-system, said, “As we keep pace with changing technological trends, the industry is expected to become more multifaceted, efficient and customer centric.”

A senior rep from another MSO company who didn’t want to be named felt that with the entry of cash-rich companies like Reliance Jio, it would help legacy players to “focus better” on the core business. “The new venture of Jio will also bring back investors’ focus on the sector, apart from increased awareness among consumers,” the MSO company exec added while talking to Indiantelevision.com.

India’s FLBB penetration was expected to increase to 10.3 per cent from the present single digit share by year 2022 as per Singapore-based Media Partners Asia research. As content and applications were also getting heavier and denser in size gradually, there were fair chances that Jio could disrupt the market, while other players have equal opportunity too in this segment, the MPA analysis had stated some time back.

An immediate effect of the Jio fiber project announcement was that shares of listed MSO companies like Hathway Cable & Datacom, Den Networks, GTPL Hathway and SITI Networks dropped in the early part of trading on Indian bourses. It must also be mentioned that shares of Reliance Industries too had dipped in early trading as RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani was addressing the shareholders at yesterday’s company annual general meeting.

While the spotlight may be falling on cable operators and MSOs, there is no denying the fact that Jio GigaFiber could also impact the business plans of DTH platforms and incumbent telecom players like Airtel, Vodafone and even State-run BSNL as Jio plans to offer not only just FLBB, but also a host of other telecom and TV services, apart from smart solutions for the retail consumer’s home, in general.

India’s DTH players, for example, felt that while fiber-based broadband services could be a good option for high-rise residential complexes in urban Indian cities, it would be a challenge to lay fiber in far-flung hilly areas or take the lines into homes in those places where houses are horizontally laid out.  

For cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru and Gurugram, having rows and rows of high-rise gated residential complexes, fiber based broadband services was a good opportunity, but it would be an expensive affair for a row of houses, DTH operator Dish TV’s managing director Jawahar Goel was quoted by BloombergQuint as saying. He added: “For delivering the cable and DTH services, we will always have the competitive edge, as our cost is lesser.”

Telcos like Bharti Airtel, considered India’s biggest operator in terms of market and subscriber shares, however, are expected to react to the impending Jio competition in FLLB by cutting subscription rates and handing out higher monthly data packages to consumers at reduced costs.

Over the last few months, Airtel, for example, has been aggressively attempting to sell its high-speed digital fixed line broadband services to existing consumers in Delhi and National Capital Region, which includes areas like Gurugram and places like Vaishali and Kaushambi in Ghaziabad district and Noida --- all having rows of high-rise residential complexes of various sizes with varied population.

Meanwhile, telecom industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), which has been at loggerheads with member Reliance Jio over a slew of issues in the past, yesterday termed Jio's fixed-line fiber broadband system as a "game changer" and said the company garnering over 200 million mobile users in a short span of time is "commendable", according to a Press Trust of India report from New Delhi.

"The announcements made by Mukesh Ambani (RIL chairman) have positioned RJio as an extensive technology company rather than just a telecom service provider. This is an interesting development and once the plans laid out today start taking shape, we can expect new streams of revenue to be initiated that will benefit the industry," COAI director-general Rajan S Mathews was quoted by the wire service as having said in a statement.

The PTI report also took note of a latest note from JP Morgan that said while there were no details yet on pricing of the upcoming optic fiber broadband service, it was of the view that given Jio’s customer acquisition strategy, the launch pricing should effectively be at a "large discount" to current broadband and set top box pricing prevalent.

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/07/08/nippon.jpg?itok=TEW0DZI_
Nippon TV’s hit smart phone game “Hunter × Hunter” expands to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau

MUMBAI: Nippon Television Network Corporation (Nippon TV), Japan’s multi-platform entertainment company, has announced that it has expanded the territories of its hit smart phone game arising from the highly popular animation IP HUNTER × HUNTER. The game is developed by Lantu Games and had been...

iWorld Gaming
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/07/08/insta.jpg?itok=rqcBAhmP
Instagram introduces Reels to entertain India

NEW DELHI: Instagram today announced the extension of the testing of Reels, a new video format, to India. This format offers a new way to create and share short videos on Instagram, aimed at redefining the future of entertainment on the platform.

iWorld Social Media
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/07/07/planet.jpg?itok=6DHL6Yux
Planet Marathi to launch Marathi OTT Platform

KOLKATA: Passionate filmmaker and producer Akshay Bardapurkar of Planet Marathi, actor Pushkar Shrotri, and music composer Aditya Oak are all set to launch Planet Marathi OTT, India’s one and only platform that curates Marathi content, exclusively for Marathi audience.

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/07/07/voot.jpg?itok=-roRq80_
Voot and Kailash Kher come together to present Nayii Udaan

KOLKATA: VOOT brings something new and exhilarating for its millions of consumers and partners with none other than the music veteran Kailash Kher absolutely LIVE. To rekindle the magic of Indian classical and folk music and give new talent a stage to spread their nascent wings, three years ago,...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/07/07/ser.jpg?itok=WJojCHAG
Changing consumer behaviour as viewership spikes on ZEE5

The current Covid2019 pandemic and the nationwide lockdown has not just stalled industries and economic activity but has also contributed to the ongoing change in behavioural patterns in people, including that of digital consumption.

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/07/07/uday.jpg?itok=YkDB-INl
Aim to get hundreds of millions of subscribers for Disney+ Hotstar: Uday Shankar

Disney+ Hotstar is not going to limit itself to sports and classic Disney+ library in India. While last year Hotstar went into original content, after its rebranding to Disney+ Hotstar, it is chasing a large audience also with direct-to-digital premiers of bollywood movies.

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/07/06/znap.jpg?itok=vkuyF_nF
ZEE5 Global announces its latest partnership with Cashback App ZNAP

MUMBAI: ZEE5 Global has announced its partnership with cashback mobile app ZNAP in UAE. The application offers users a unique shopping experience with rewards and bonuses while sitting at home. The partnership will provide users a chance to earn cashback credit and a monthly subscription to premium...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/07/06/zee5.jpg?itok=fDbtLdRH
ZEE5 records over 50% increase in WoW viewership

KOLKATA: During the lockdown, ZEE5, as India’s Entertainment Super-App has continued to entertain and engage diverse audiences by serving bespoke content across languages and a spectrum of devices. The platform’s popularity surged further as the week-on-week viewership soared by 52 per cent for all...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/07/06/sripriya.jpg?itok=dGAvYtle
It’s a match! Tinder and Pocket Aces team up to show how people are Dating In 2020 in the new format ‘FilterCopy Mini’

NEW DELHI: In a bid to constantly innovate, and cater to the changing content consumption habits of the audience, Pocket Aces’ short-form video channel, FilterCopy, has launched a new Instagram-first format called ‘FilterCopy Mini’ that will focus on telling short,  relatable stories in just under...

iWorld Social Media

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required