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COAI: Streaming services can (mostly) start streaming in high quality again in India

Streaming services are no longer being asked to reduce their video bitrates in bulk across mobile networks in India. The Cellular Operators Association of India's Director General Rajan Mathews told MediaNama that streaming services can now figure out restrictions individually with networks. But it is unclear if they will do that. Google and Netflix, for example, have restricted their video quality across all networks in India, including fixed-line broadband connections that have the capacity to deal with the traffic surge. Amazon Prime Video seems to have done the same. Medianama has reached out to Reliance Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone–Idea to see if they'll be okay with streaming services rolling restrictions back. We have also asked streaming services if they will roll restrictions back on some networks. YouTube — which has limited video quality to 480p on mobile devices in India — responded saying it had no update to share for the moment; Netflix declined to comment. Brajesh Jain, Vice President of the Internet Service Providers Association of India, which represents several fixed line ISPs, told us that their member ISPs would have no problem with bitrates going back to normal. The streaming service Hoichoi seems to be among the first to return video quality back to normal. "The bitrates on hoichoi have been returned to normal early this week, with the 1080p option back on track," a Hoichoi spokesperson told MediaNama. "People can watch their preferred content in full HD. Yes, our telco partners have reached out to us and we…

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

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