A discussion about Live Streaming services in Bangalore includes the current state of the entire industry across the world. There has been a recent surge in data usage across the world. Especially due to increase in work from home culture post the 2020 Covid-19 crisis. Recent studies report that more than 76% of the people see an increase in their data usage over the last year, 4 out of 10 people watching a virtual event for the first time in 2020.
With the increase in IRL (In Real Life) streaming, users have now found a whole new way to influence and interact with the audience, making way to more Live streaming platforms available for users.
Being a Live Streaming services in Bangalore, we thought of sharing a checklist to keep in mind while streaming in the city. The list could also be valid for most of places if you are live streaming in Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad or Delhi. So if you are travelling to the city, or a streaming provider, here are some tips.
Network Providers in Bangalore
In August 2018, Vodafone merged with Idea , leaving the market competition hanging between three big players – Airtel, Vodafone-Idea (Now branded as Vi) & Jio. Jio is the only one with legacy free 4G service in the country, while the other players have systematically upgraded from 2G, 3G to the latest LTE (Long Term Evolution) or what we call as 4G. The number of subscribers porting from Airtel, Vodafone to Jio was at a rapid pace, due to the price wars. And to add fuel to the fire, rumours of Vodafone shutting operations in India made it worse for the network provider. In short, majority of subscribers in Bangalore are divided between Airtel, Jio and third comes Vodafone-Idea.
Towers, Speed & Density
With over 10,000 towers across Bangalore, spread across various companies, most of the places around Bangalore are pretty much covered. Like all cities, there are dead points which are caused when two towers do not cover a certain location, it could be between 500 metres to a km. It could be due to lack of permission to install a tower in a specific radius due to restrictions. Almost every tower now supports or upgraded to 4G, hence speeds across all service providers are 4G capable.
It is still interesting to note that it is a worldwide issue of high rise buildings, thick concrete walls make the cellular signals weaker to penetrate, hence Bangalore with a lot of apartments do have complains of weaker signal irrespective of being in the centre of the city. However, these are exceptions and we have to live with this.
You can check this website to view the various cellphone towers across Bangalore and technical details.
You will find a lot of articles across the internet which will help you understand the statistics of mobile networks. here are few which will give you great insights, that will help you for better live streaming in Bangalore :
- Mobile Data Usage During Covid-19 Lockdown
- Video and Streaming Experience around the world-2019
- Beginners guide to understanding cellphone networks
The challenge for livestreaming – Upload Speeds!
What in theory has been marketed is the idea of downloading 120 minute Bollywood film in less than 30 mins. This is ok for a user who mostly uses his/her smartphone for downloads rather than uploads. The service providers have comprised upload speeds for faster downloads.
Uploads speeds are your high priority when doing Live Streaming
Here is a typical example of uploads and download speeds in Indiranagar, Bangalore in Mid Afternoon
This could be because of various factors- Tower density & Time of day.
Here is another screenshot of a test conducted at the same place in the evening, giving surprising results
We weren’t very sure about the reason for this, we did try the test with another smartphone, and got the same result.
Surprisingly, the capacity of Airtel is upgraded to 4G+, with more 4G+ towers than Vodafone or Jio.
What does this mean for live streamers who rely on solely data? Firstly, when a network provider promises great data speeds, it could still mean downloads than upload speeds. It is very challenging when you have an unsteady upload speeds during the stream.
Winner of Upload Speeds in Bangalore : Vodafone-Idea (Vi)
Comparing to performance of Airtel and Jio across Bangalore, we have seen that Vodafone has been exceptional in maintaining a great download-upload balance. And this is something we have tested across Bangalore.
The April 2020 report by OpenSignal awarded Vodafone India as the top rated service provider when it comes to Upload speed experience. In fact, now with the complete merger of cellphone towers of Vodafone and Idea, it is the top rated network provider for upload speeds in Bangalore.
Again, this is our personal observations when we do projects relying on networks. This could also be a result of lesser subscribers per tower for Vodafone-Idea, leading to lower congestion when compared to Jio and Airtel.
Keeping these in mind, Here are our top best practices for Live Streaming services in Bangalore :
1. Get a Dedicated line whenever possible
Any mission critical live streaming cannot happen relying solely on network providers. Hence it is always recommenced to get a LAN wired connection under such circumstances. A good rule of thumb is for the bitrate of your stream to use no more than 50% of your available upload bandwidth capacity on a dedicated line. For example, if the result you get from a speed test shows that you have 2Mbps of upload speed available, your combined audio and video bitrate should not exceed 1Mbps.
2. Windows and open doors are your saviours
If you are shooting in a closed auditorium or a 5 Star hotel where the ball room is completely covered by thick walls, your Wifi networks or network providers are surely prone to get affected. At this instance, it is always recommended that you setup your livestreaming unit closer to an open door or a window, and run a cable to your camera unit. We all would like to minimise the usage of wires but in critical situations where we have no choice, this has to be followed.
3. Always do a Field Visit
If you are shooting an event, say a wedding or a corporate seminar, a lot of people rely on your live streaming service to watch the event virtually. We cannot really assume how things might go on the day of the streaming, hence it is always recommended to have a visit to the venue, check your network speeds, and also get an idea of where you would like to setup your system. This will also give you an estimate of the length of the cables required. Best practices is to always use OpenSignal App to get a rough idea of what could be the network in that area in advance.
4. Carrying multiple service provider Dongles all the time (Specially Vodafone!)
This is specially applicable for vendors who do live streaming in Bangalore, who rely on a single network for the upload of the stream. Once connecting the camera via a capture card, ensure to test the connectivity of your stream to see the kind of bitrate that has been uploaded. Compare the upload speeds of all providers and then decide on which to use.
5. Combine Multiple Connections to create a bigger pipe for uploads.
If you’re thinking of combining 3 Internet connections simultaneously, Speedify is a great method to combine your wifi, ethernet and cellular or more. This requires no additional hardware and can be done through any of the devices.
Here’s a video to explain more about Speedify :
6. Get a Live Streaming capable camera
For Run and Gun shoots, where you have no way to connect your camera to your laptop or capture card, you can invest on a camera that is great in terms of codec and specs, as well as something which will give you capacity to internally stream to Youtube or Facebook. We use the Sony Z90 camera that has internal Live Streaming, hence all you need is the camera to shoot an event which involves a lot of mobility (Say a marathon or a cycling event)
Here is a video that explains how to livestream directly from a Camera :
As a Live Streaming services in Bangalore, we can tell you that the quality of any live stream depends mainly on the quality of your broadcast. That’s a fact. You can have the best camera in the world to stream your event, but if people can’t see and hear you well, the purpose is lost.
At Streamcast.in, we always are learning through our experiences and that is the only way to go. Upload speeds can significantly affect the quality of your broadcasts. That’s why it’s important to use a connection with enough upload speed for the type of content you broadcast. We encourage people/hobbyists or IRL twitch gamers to try out live streaming which is quite a cool thing to do. If you are still looking for a professional live streaming for an event in Bangalore, feel free to reach out to us anytime.
We would like to hear you all in the comment section about your experiences of live streaming across Bangalore. Happy Streaming! Do not forget to drop in your enquiry in the contact us section.