Samsung, Qualcomm, Ericsson, and Nokia have opposed India’s proposal to mandate equipping smartphones with hardware to receive live TV signals without cellular networks, claiming that it will increase the cost of each device by $30. India is considering using the ATSC 3.0 technology, which is popular in North America and provides high picture quality and precise geo-locating of TV signals.
However, the companies say their existing smartphones in India are not equipped to work with ATSC 3.0, and any efforts to add that compatibility will raise the cost of each device. Furthermore, they argue that adding direct-to-mobile broadcasting can degrade the battery performance of devices and cellular reception. Digital broadcast of TV channels on smartphones has seen limited adoption in countries, such as the US and South Korea, due to the lack of devices that support the technology.
The India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), a lobbying group of smartphone makers, opposed the move, saying that no major handset maker globally currently supports ATSC 3.0. India’s government sees the live TV broadcast feature as a way to offload the congestion on telecom networks due to higher video consumption.