One thing is certain, without last mile connectivity, the growth of OTT (over-the-top) in India will be quite limited. At present, India has a long way to go to develop sufficient infrastructure to provide connectivity to every nook and cranny. The government is spearheading the BharatNet project to enable broadband connectivity in India’s rural panchayats at a rapid pace, but it will still take some time before the internet reaches everywhere in the country.
Even right-of-way (right of way) issues have slowed down the deployment of OFC (fiber optic cable) and other infrastructure, due to which internet connectivity has not been able to reach all parts of India .
OTT platforms operate through the Internet. For users to stream in the best possible quality, they need a strong and stable internet connection. This is currently not available in most rural parts of the country. In fact, even the outskirts of major cities do not have adequate internet connection.
Broadband must reach everywhere in India
India is a gold mine for OTT platforms. Data rates are very cheap compared to global markets, and the potential new customers they can add over the next five years are in the hundreds of millions.
More and more OTT platforms are springing up and trying to compete with global dominators such as Disney+ Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.
The thing is, users in India are tired of paying hefty charges to DTH (Direct-to-Home) players that don’t even offer on-demand content. With OTT platforms, there is no problem with the NCF (Network Capacity Fee) which is really a good thing for the users.
DTH operators are still operating on a decade-old business model. Tata Sky has taken a new path, but the satellite TV business won’t be around forever, and most of us know that by now.
The future is in services that provide OTT subscriptions bundled with a broadband connection.