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    Samsung opposes Indian government’s proposal to mandate live TV on phones

    Phone
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    Last updated: November 8th, 2023 at 12:07 UTC+01:00

    Samsung has joined Qualcomm in opposing the Indian government's proposal to mandate a feature that brings live TV to smartphones. India is considering bringing a policy that mandates the ATSC 3.0 feature to be present on all phones sold in the country. However, mobile phone brands are opposing the idea as it requires hardware additions that will increase the prices of mobile phones.

    Samsung says adding direct-to-mobile TV broadcast feature will increase phone prices

    According to the letters reviewed by Reuters, adding live TV hardware to smartphones will cost an additional $30. The ATSC 3.0 (also known as NextGenTV) technology, which is popular in the US, is used for TVs. It offers broadcast TV signals in 4K resolution and allows precise geo-locating of TV signals. However, the Indian government wants that technology to be used in mobile phones in the future.

    Moreover, brands like Samsung argue that mandating the existence of ATSC 3.0 in phones will hurt their existing manufacturing plans. The ICEA (India Cellular and Electronics Association), a lobbying group of smartphone makers, which includes Apple, Xiaomi, and other companies, had already opposed the government's proposal in a letter dated October 16, saying that no major global phone brand supports ATSC 3.0.

    NextGen TV ATSC 3.0 Mobile Phone

    In a letter to India's communications ministry, Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm, and Samsung have written that adding the direct-to-mobile TV broadcasting feature will also degrade the battery life and cellular network reception of mobile phones. Live TV broadcast to mobile phones has seen limited usage in countries like South Korea and the US due to the lack of technology in enough devices. However, it is prevalent in Japan.

    Right now, the Indian government is deliberating the proposal, and there is no fixed timeline for its implementation. In recent months, the Indian government has brought a proposal to make all phones sold in the country compatible with India's homegrown global positioning and navigation system called NavIC. In another proposal, the government wanted to mandate security testing of all phones.

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