Entertainment Bundled Broadband Plans of BSNL, Airtel, Act, Hathway and Jio

With more subscribers switching on OTT apps thanks to the COVID-19 lockdown, broadband players could emerge as indirect beneficiaries

Highlights
  • OTT traffic are said to have showed an increase of 198% in April due to lockdowns
  • KMPG said that three out of 10 respondents in its survey watched OTT content through telecom platforms
  • The 5 major broadband service provider in India all offer access to at least one OTT app

People across the world are switching from traditional cable and direct-to-home (DTH) setup to subscription based video and audio streaming, Absolute Markets Insights said in a report on Tuesday. According to the company engaged in providing latest trends related to consumer demand and consumer behavior, the over-the-top (OTT) services are increasingly adopted across growing economies such as India. Further, Absolute Markets Insights said that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in people resorting to online streaming services for their entertainment needs. The company said that the OTT traffic showed an increase of 198% in April due to lockdowns. Meanwhile, KPMG India in a report on Wednesday said that the OTT consumption in India could shift from mobile screens to large TVs due to the lockdown effect with broadband companies being indirect beneficiaries. The audit, tax and advisory firm said that OTT apps have seen a surge both in terms of hours spent on the apps to new user sign ups due to the lockdown. KPMG India believes that the surge in OTT apps could accelerate the process of cord cutting in the medium term. The firm in a report released in August said that the role of aggregators which includes internet service providers (ISP) will continue to grow and bundling of services will become the norm. With more people consuming content through OTT apps and ISPs increasingly bundling in services on plans, TelecomTalk looks at the major entertainment bundled plans across the top five operators.

OTT Apps and Role of ISPs

In a report released in September, KPMG said that the content partnerships with telecom players including ISPs have emerged as preferred distribution channels for OTT players. In its survey, KMPG said that three out of 10 respondents watch OTT content through telecom platforms, highlighting the importance of the particular distribution medium.

It has to be noted that India had 19.14 million wired broadband subscribers by the end of December, according to the data from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai). The top five wired broadband providers based on subscriber numbers include BSNL, Bharti Airtel, Atria Convergence Technologies, Hathway Cable and Datacom and Reliance Jio.

BSNL Entertainment Bundle Plan

With 8.39 million subscribers, the state-owned company, BSNL is the top wired broadband service provider in India with the company running several circle specific broadband plans across the country. In Chennai and most circles, the company offers two entertainment bundled plans which are known as Super star 300 and Super star 500 that enables users free access to Hotstar Premium subscription. The Super star 300 provides users 300GB of data up to 50 Mbps speed and 2 Mbps after the FUP limit while the Super star 500 raises the FUP limit to 500GB.

Further, users can also make unlimited calls while the Hotstar premium subscription enables users to watch live sports, English movies, TV shows and more.

Bharti Airtel Entertainment Bundled Plans

Bharti Airtel is second on the list of top wired broadband service providers in India with 2.42 million subscribers. The company provides users with access to at least one OTT app on its broadband plans with Airtel Xstream being enabled across the company’s range of plans.

Airtel Xstream, the entertainment app from Airtel stable enables users to watch live tv, movies and past seven day programs on its platform. The platform carries over 380 channels across multiple languages including 64 high definition (HD) channels. Further, Airtel Xstream also has content partnerships with ZEE5, Hungama, Eros Now, HOOQ, ShareIt, YouTube, Shemaroome, Ultra and Curiosity Stream.

Additionally, Airtel on its Entertainment, Premium and VIP plans bundle Amazon Prime and Zee 5 subscription providing users a one stop solution to most of their entertainment needs.

Atria Convergence Technologies Netflix Plans

With 1.52 million subscribers across India, ACT Fibernet is third on the list of top five service providers in India. The company provides cashback to Netflix users on certain plans with users receiving up to Rs 300 cashback in most cities and up to Rs 500 cashback in cities like Bengaluru and Hyderabad.

In Chennai, the plans eligible for Netflix cashback include ACT Blast, ACT Storm, ACT Lighting and ACT Incredible with ACT Blast users eligible for Rs 100 cashback while Act Incredible users can receive Rs 300.

Additionally, the company offers ACT Stream TV 4K, an Android set-top box (STB) capable of streaming at 4K along with access to over 100 live TV channels. Further, the company notes that it provides offers on streaming apps including Hooq and Zee5 while apps like Amazon Prime are said to be pre-installed on the device. The company also provides 100GB of complimentary data to Stream TV 4K subscribers.

Hathway Cable and Datacom Entertainment Plans

Hathway is the fourth major broadband provider in India with a subscriber base of 0.90 million. The company offers customised plans that are limited to each city and is said to offer a STB or an Android dongle to users who sign up for long term plans.

In chennai, the company provides a free playbox, an Android dongle to users with free subscription to Sun NXT. Hathway has four plans in Chennai which range from 100 Mbps to 300 Mbps with the monthly charges for the base plan priced at Rs 949 per month. The company offers 1000GB of high speed limit on all plans except for the top tiered plan that has a high speed data limit of 2000GB.

Reliance Jio Entertainment Plans

With a subscriber base of 0.86 million, Jio is the fifth largest broadband provider in India. While the company provides access to JioCinema and JioSaavn on its base plan, access to Hotstar, SonyLiv, Zee5, Sun NXT, Voot are included on plans priced Rs 849 and above. The Bronze plan is the base plan of Jio which enables speed up to 100 Mbps for the price of Rs 699 with a high speed limit of 200GB and a promotional limit of additional 50GB of data.

Additionally, the company offers free STB on all plans with access to OTT apps including JioTV that lets viewers watch 688 live channels including 158 high definition channels. Jio users subscribing to three and six months plans will receive three and six months worth of subscription to OTT apps while annual plan users will receive annual subscription to OTT apps.

Born in India, Yogesh loves to travel and has lived in multiple countries including New Zealand and Canada. His bylines can be found on various newspapers and blogs throughout the world, including Vancouver Sun, Surrey Now-Leader, Daily Hive , Investing News Network and Rach F1.

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