Imagine being able to watch movies, matches, videos and other multimedia stuff on your mobile phone without having to access the internet! That would be great, wouldn’t it?! This will be accomplished via D2M (Direct-to-Mobile) broadcasting technology.
Direct-to-mobile broadcasting is the technology based on the convergence of broadband and broadcast, using which mobile phones can receive terrestrial digital TV. The D2M technology allows to broadcast video and other multimedia content directly to mobile phones, without active internet connection. It would be similar to how people listen to FM radio on their phones, in which phone can tap into radio frequencies.
The idea behind the technology is that it can possibly be used to directly broadcast content related to citizen-centric information and can be further used to counter fake news, issue emergency alerts and offer assistance in disaster management, among other things. It can also be used to broadcast live news, sports etc. on mobile phones in such a way that the content can stream without any buffering while not consuming any internet data. It also promises to boost internet consumption and spectrum utilization.
Features of Direct-to-mobile (D2M) Technology
- This technology will help consumers to access multimedia content from Video on Demand (VoD) or Over The Top (OTT) content platforms without having to exhaust their mobile data, and at a nominal rate.
- D2M technology will help people from rural areas, where there is limited access to internet, to watch video content.
- This service would be provided at a nominal rate.
- This technology will help telecom service providers to decongest valuable mobile spectrum by offloading video traffic from their mobile network onto the broadcast network. This in turn will improve usage of mobile spectrum and free up bandwidth which will help reduce call drops, increase data speeds etc.
Challenges Faced by Direct-to-mobile (D2M) Technology
According to Prasar Bharati’s CEO, the “biggest challenge” in launching D2M technology on a wide scale would be bringing key stakeholders like mobile operators onboard. Information and Broadcasting Ministry Secretary Apurva Chandra said a mass roll out of the technology will entail changes in infrastructure and some regulatory changes.
Initiatives by the Government to Improve D2M Technology
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has set up a committee to study the feasibility of a spectrum band for offering broadcast services directly to users’ smartphones. According to DoT Secretary K Rajaraman, “Band 526-582 MHz is envisaged to work in coordination with both mobile and broadcast services. DoT has set up a committee to study this band.” Public service broadcaster Prasar Bharati had last year announced a collaboration with IIT Kanpur to test the feasibility of the technology.
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