Telecom Standards Organizations Address Broadcast-Broadband Convergence

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Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India (TSDSI), and Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) jointly explored technical & policy issues related to  convergence of broadcast & broadband services in India and across the globe, during the “International Workshop on Convergence of Broadcast & Broadband” held in New Delhi on 14-15 November 2018. This event was organized under the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between the two SDOs to drive focus on the emerging standardisation in this area.

Consumption of content over mobile devices is fast becoming the new paradigm.  This requires efficient solutions to carry this traffic and provide a high-quality user experience. An IP-based open global standard should make it possible to develop a convergence of broadcast & broadband both in the network and in user devices, particularly for “Direct to Mobile” (DTM) services. Broadcast& Broadband Convergence is under active consideration by the government in India and across the world. Early trials and deployments have started.  The workshop was attended by more than 80 experts from the broadcast & broadband service and technology providers from industry, public sector organisations, policy makers, standards experts and global experts.

Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director IIT Kanpur and former Chairman, TSDSI, opened the workshop by emphasising the need to focus on India specific requirements and pointed out that convergence offers the opportunity for efficient utilization of Spectrum.

Mr N. Sivasailam, (the then Special Secretary Department of Telecom, presently Special Secretary, Logistics, Department of Commerce), applauded the timely initiative of TSDSI and ATSC in conducting this workshop and urged the body of experts to capture the deliberations from the workshop into a report and action plan to help mobilise trials, use case studies and early deployment in India similar to Korea and other countries.

In his address to the workshop participants, Mr R S Sharma, Chairman TRAI, emphasised the need to leapfrog and embrace new technology in a way that addresses India’s requirements. He enumerated scalability, interoperability and affordability as the top priorities from an India perspective. Special focus is needed on adoption of open source and open standards. The regulatory framework is an enabler and keen to partner with the ecosystem players to enable the Indian market.

Mr Shashi Shekhar Vempati, CEO, Prasar Bharati, reminded the participants that the field of content consumption is driven by the consumer who is impervious to the underlying technologies and delivery channels. He challenged the team to think disruptively in defining the approach and roadmap for most effectively utilising the broadcast infrastructure in India.   The broadcast & broadband industries need to come together to explore innovative converged technology platforms and new business models to serve the consumers.  Mr Amitabh Kumar, Zee Network, along with several industry experts concluded that convergence of diverse technologies, satellite, terrestrial, cable and local players is required.

Ms Pamela Kumar, Director General, TSDSI, while summing up the deliberations of the workshop, emphasized the need to collaborate with global forums like 3GPP, ATSC, TTA etc. to leverage the “latest and the greatest” technologies for India.

Mr. Mark Richer, President, ATSC, expressed his support for the TSDSI strategy commenting “collaboration will drive convergence”.

As a way forward, it was proposed that a focus group in TSDSI to study Indian requirements and recommend action plan to achieve convergence of Broadcast and Broadband. This is a direct result of the workshop. This initiative will be spearheaded by Mr A K Mittal, Advisor, Networks, TSDSI, with the first meeting proposed during the upcoming Technical Plenary meeting of TSDSI on 5-6 December, 2018 in Bengaluru. The group is open to all and volunteers can send their expression of interest to akmittal@tsdsi.in.

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About TSDSI

Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India aims at developing and promoting India-specific requirements; standardizing solutions for meeting these requirements and contributing these to international standards; contributing to global standardization in the field of telecommunications; safe-guarding the related IP and helping create standards based manufacturing expertise in the country. TSDSI is one of the seven Organizational Partners of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) and partner type I to oneM2M, the global partnership project for development of IoT/M2M platforms. TSDSI is recognized by Department of Telecommunications, Govt. of India, as India’s Telecom SDO. www.tsdsi.in

About ATSC

The Advanced Television Systems Committee is defining the future of television with the ATSC 3.0 next-generation broadcast standard.   ATSC is an international, non-profit organization developing voluntary standards for digital television. The ATSC’s 140-plus member organizations represent the broadcast, broadcast equipment, motion picture, consumer electronics, computer, cable, satellite, and semiconductor industries. www.atsc.org.

More details of the workshop can be viewed here.

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