Online media streaming service, Netfix, may well announce its entry into the Indian market as part of a planned global expansion, at the CES 2016 trade show to be held at Las Vegas, Nevada, next week. The company is expected to announce its plans during the keynote speech of its CEO, Mr. Reed Hastings, at the event on Wednesday, January 6th. While the company's plans regarding India are yet to be made official, the American tech company has already started testing the waters in Far East Asia, by launching its services in Japan back in September, last year. The company has also announced that it will be bringing its service to Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan at some stage during this year.
Reports in the mainstream Indian media seem to indicate that the Scotts Valley, California-based company has tied-up with a telecom service provider in the country to deliver its service over the high-speed LTE networks that are currently available in around 300 towns across the length and breadth of the country, covering a significant portion of the country's 1.2 billion population. While the media outlet is quoting 'industry sources' for its report, there is no word on which wireless carrier may actually have signed the deal with Netflix. Airtel and Reliance Jio have well-entrenched LTE networks across vast stretches of India, while other carriers, like Vodafone and Aircel are expected to rollout their 4G services later this year.
According to the report carried by The Hindu Business Line, internet video traffic accounted for almost half (46%) of all internet traffic in India in the year 2014, which was up from 38% in the previous year. The publication quotes a Cisco VNI report to say that by 2019, that number is likely to increase to 74%, and online streaming companies like Netflix will obviously want in on the action in one of the most rapidly expanding markets in the world for internet services. It, however, remains to be seen how this supposed tie-up with a single telecom company goes down with advocates of net neutrality in the country, who are currently up-in-arms over Facebook's Free Basics program due to its alleged violation of net neutrality norms.