Samsung, Qualcomm, and other companies are opposing India’s plan to introduce live TV on smartphones without using cellular networks, citing concerns over compatibility and increased costs, according to a Reuters report.
ATSC 3.0 technology (Advanced Television Systems Committee)
India is considering mandating special hardware for smartphones to receive live TV signals using ATSC 3.0 technology, popular in North America.
These companies argue that their current Indian smartphones lack ATSC 3.0 compatibility, necessitating costly component additions, raising each device’s cost by $30 and potentially disrupting manufacturing plans.
In a joint letter to India’s communication ministry, Samsung, Qualcomm, Ericsson, and Nokia expressed their reservations, highlighting potential negative impacts on battery life and cellular reception.
The proposal remains under discussion, without a fixed implementation timeline. Live TV on smartphones has struggled to gain traction in countries like South Korea and the United States due to device compatibility issues.
This resistance follows earlier pushbacks from smartphone companies against India’s efforts to mandate compatibility with a domestic navigation system and mandatory security testing.
Notably, Samsung leads India’s smartphone market with a 17.2% share, followed by Xiaomi at 16.6%, and Apple at 6%, as per the Q3 2023 report by Counterpoint. India’s government aims to introduce live TV broadcasts to alleviate network congestion due to increased video consumption.
The India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), representing companies like Apple and Xiaomi, privately opposed the plan, stating that major global handset makers do not support ATSC 3.0.
They fear that unproven and globally non-accepted technology could hinder domestic manufacturing progress, as mentioned in an ICEA letter reviewed by Reuters.