Cellular Operators Association of India Director General SP Kochhar on Thursday advocated profit sharing between OTT players and telecom companies for deploying 5G networks.
“While telecom companies handle their voice and data traffic, the majority of the usage of these networks is done by OTT players who supply these networks with massive amounts of data that they transport to the end users.
“They get it from content providers, put it on their platform and deliver it to the end users without paying anything to the network providers who created the network for them,” Kochhar said.
OTT players including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Zee5 and SonyLIV have a significant user base in India.
He said over-the-top platforms are benefiting from the rollout of advanced technologies such as 5G.
“It is like building a house and staying on one floor while other floors are given out on rent and used by the tenant for commercial purposes but he does not pay the rent.
“This is very foolish. If I built something and I spend it on rent, I expect some value to come out of it. I’m not saying that the entire amount of profit you make comes to me, but a certain amount should ”, he emphasizes.
Telcos are facing financial challenges due to the huge investments they have made to roll out 5G networks, he added.
“We are asking for a fair share for setting up, maintaining and operating these networks,” Kochhar added.
Reports indicate that the Indian video OTT market is expected to reach $12.5 billion (nearly Rs. 1,03,890 crore) by 2030 thanks to access to better networks, digital connectivity and smartphones.