Samsung, Qualcomm, Ericsson and Nokia reportedly opposed a proposal from India’s government to equip smartphones with hardware capable of receiving live TV signals without the use of mobile networks, warning of price hikes if new components are added.
Reuters reported the companies wrote to India’s Ministry of Communications warning hardware changes would add $30 to the price of devices, and direct-to-mobile broadcasting would degrade smartphone battery performance and mobile reception.
The nation is currently mulling a policy which would require manufacturers to ensure smartphones can receive live TV signals without the need for mobile networks through the ATSC 3.0 standard, which provides support for higher picture resolutions.
Reuters noted direct-to-mobile broadcasting gained limited traction globally due mostly to a lack of compatible devices, but added it is used in the US and South Korea.
India’s government argues adding TV broadcast features on smartphones could help ease network congestion, with users now consuming more video content.
However, in the joint letter, the companies said they did “not find any merit in progressing discussions on the adoption of this”.
India has notably taken other steps to shake up its smartphone market this year, such as introducing measures requiring non-domestic device makers to obtain a licence to import products to encourage local production.
It has also been linked to exploring tougher security laws on new devices entering the market.