Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services in India have agreed to offer standard definition content on cellular networks, with immediate effect. Contents will not be available on HD or Ultra HD quality until April 14, 2020, when using a cellular mobile data connection.
All streaming services in India will offer SD content with the bitrate up to 480p on cellular networks to reduce the network strain and maintain network stability. However, people using WiFi or broadband connection can stream content on HD or Ultra HD quality.
COAI announced in a tweet, “Digital Industry unanimously agreed that all companies will immediately adopt measures, including temporarily defaulting HD and ultra-HD streaming to offering only SD content, at bitrates no higher than 480p on cellular networks. These effective until April 14.”
Since the Indian government declared complete lockdown in the country to prevent coronavirus from spreading, most people are working from home or using the internet to watch OTT contents. Because of this, internet usage has spiked. To avoid network straining, last week, the Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) requested the Indian streaming service providers to lower the streaming quality from high definition to the standard definition.
COAI has also requested the government to provide additional spectrum to all telecom service providers during the lockdown period equally or no one at all for maintaining the network stability and quality.