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Media + communications


Smart thinking, resilient networks, and luck: telcos give seamless connectivity to India in lockdown

Indian telcos rose to the challenge, and with some smart thinking – and some good fortune too – ensured almost seamless connectivity for a billion-plus Indians despite a spurt in traffic. From shutting 3G services for 4G to routing calls through Wi-Fi networks instead of mobile networks, telcos intelligently pulled out many rabbits from their hats in an hour of crisis.


WhatsApp has failed to generate cash for Facebook. The deal with Jio can be a turning point.

Some experts call WhatsApp a liability for parent Facebook. While big, flourishing brands are often money-spinners for companies, Facebook has been unable to monetise the instant-messaging platform significantly despite its 2 billion users globally. Facebook’s deal with Jio is intended to set things right by transforming WhatsApp into a marketplace-type platform. It may just work.

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Seat distancing, rise of OTT, fading ads: PVR, INOX face many killjoys. Needed: an agile cost model.

As multiplexes and production houses bicker over the digital release of big-ticket movies, the film-exhibition industry must get ready for a post-pandemic world where occupancy will be a fraction of what it used to be. Mandatory sanitation and other compliance issues will mean higher costs and fewer shows. A harsh ad environment is likely to dent near-term profitability.

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When 6 comes before 5 and after 4. Why India may adopt Wi-Fi 6 ahead of 5G.

From smart cities to autonomous cars to industrial automation to remote healthcare, IoT can transform the world – and 5G will contribute to it. With commercial 5G deployments 18 to 24 months away in India, it opens the door for a large-scale adoption of Wi-Fi 6 – similar in many ways to 5G – for new IoT use cases. It’s cheap and available now.

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Zoom emerges as a formidable rival to WhatsApp, Skype, Microsoft Teams. Can it stay on top?

From 10 million participants globally in December 2019 to 300 million in April 2020, it’s a heady ride for the Nasdaq-listed communications platform in the new world. In India, it has been more than a match for the mighty WhatsApp. But Zoom is chased by security and privacy concerns. Still, the US markets have given its stock a big thumbs up.

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Tariff hikes may ensure a good Q4 for Jio: lockdown poses challenges for telcos despite traffic surge

Jio is likely to clock healthy growth in Q4 earnings after the tariff hikes in December, but key metrics — including Arpu — will remain under pressure. Meanwhile, the lockdown will impact earnings despite a spike in data traffic going forward, because of lower gross subscriber additions, lower revenue from feature-phone subscribers, and decline in international roaming revenues.


Coopetition over competition: why Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone Idea must become frenemies

Globally, shared telecom networks are a reality. Indian telcos must adopt this strategy, particularly to speedup the rollout of 5G. It’ll help improve services, cut costs, and mean a faster go-to-market. It’ll also translate into superior and affordable services for 1.3 billion Indians. Cash-rich Reliance Jio may prefer to build its own 5G network, but then these are recessionary times.



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