Phone companies have sought the joint intervention of the telecom department and the home ministry to coax over-the-top (OTT) video streaming services to expedite steps to ease pressure on telco networks amid a surge in video consumption as vast swathes of the workforce work from home amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
These services include Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, YouTube and others.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has written to over-the-top (OTT) streaming platforms to ensure smooth video streaming across the country as people are staying indoors and taking to work-from-home amid the coronavirus crisis. The industry body has also written a letter to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) urging the government to issue advisories to the players concerned about this issue.
In its letter to the market players, the telecom industry body noted that in the past few days, government advisories have been issued to stay indoors and work from home and the role of digital means of communications, transactions, and entertainment increases.
“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,” it said.
It noted that due to lockdown or quarantine measures in various parts of the country, a sudden surge in demand for online video streaming is expected to rise substantially and during this period it is “absolutely essential for the streaming platforms to cooperate with TSPs so as to manage the traffic distribution patterns”.
With the lockdown being imposed on more regions and likely for longer durations, a surge in streaming is expected. The body has mentioned that during such a time it is “absolutely essential for the streaming platforms to cooperate with TSPs so as to manage the traffic distribution patterns”. Moreover, the Coronavirus lockdowns may take a while until the disease spread is curbed.
“It is pertinent to note that the need of the hour is that companies offering streaming platform service and TSPs take joint responsibility to take steps to ensure smooth functioning of the data communication networks to align with other measures being taken in this battle to curb the propagation of the virus,” the COAI said in the letter to industry players.