While most of the middle class in India is going to be under some sort of lock-down for the next 15 days at least, it’s very likely that a lot of idle time is going to give the telecom department a headache. Binge watching, streaming your favourite shows is going to put a load on your network.
No surprise that the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has written to the telecom department and over-the-top (OTT) companies such as Netflix, Hotstar, Voot, and Amazon Prime Video to lower the streaming resolution to reduce the burden on the networks as more people will be staying at home due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“We believe that during this critical time, it is absolutely essential for the streaming platforms to cooperate with TSPs to manage traffic distribution patterns which are likely to strain network infrastructure at a time when it is needed for various critical requirements,” COAI reportedly said in its letter to OTT platforms.
COAI called for lowering streaming quality to Standard Definition (SD) from High Definition (HD) and has specifically requested Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube and Hotstar to cooperate.
“This sudden surge in digital use is already putting pressure on the network infrastructure of the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs). The TSPs are taking requisite steps to manage this load and facilitate the smooth functioning of the networks during this critical time,” COAI added.
Now, Airtel sings a different tune. Airtel said this on the imminent load on the network with more people staying at home amid coronavirus outbreak:
“Airtel has built a future ready and highly secure network with adequate capacity to serve the evolving needs of our customers. Given our massive investments in pan India 4G presence, a robust national optic fiber and global submarine cable footprint along with Data Centers, there is sufficient capacity to provide bandwidth on demand to our retail and enterprise customers,” an Airtel spokesperson told a media source some days ago.
Reliance Jio, meanwhile, has launched double data offer to millions of prepaid customers. Broadband players such as ACT Fibernet and BSNL have introduced special work from home schemes for the fixed line users.
It’s Netflix, Disney and other OTT players have reduced the streaming quality in Europe to prevent internet overload. Netflix said that the move would help reduce traffic overflow by around 25% in Europe.
It will “begin reducing bit rates across all our streams in Europe for 30 days,” a Netflix spokesperson said.
“We estimate that this will reduce Netflix traffic on European networks by around 25 percent while also ensuring a good quality service for our members,” the statement added.