SA mobile operator, MTN says that its video-on-demand (VOD) service is weeks away from completion.
The group announced in October that it would launch a subscription based VOD service, partnering with Discover Digital, a South African digital entertainment business.
Larry Annetts, chief marketing officer (CMO) told BusinessTech on a conference call on Thursday (23 October) that MTN has piloted the service offline, and “is looking to launch at the end of November”.
Annetts told BusinessTech this week that the process is taking a little longer than anticipated.
“MTN is currently running tests on its systems and communications equipment, which will soon be followed by the launch of video-on-demand, this process should take weeks to complete,” he said.
The monthly service will enable customers to download movies, as a transactional video on demand (T-VOD) play.
MTN said it will structure data bundles to download this content at subsidized prices.
Annetts said that MTN would provide pricing details closer to launch.
In August, MTN moved a step closer to offering a meaningful streaming video service on its network following a successful live trial of a Transport Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and 2.4Tbps wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) system.
The trial, in conjunction with Huawei, was the fastest and most intelligent optical network to date in the industry, MTN said.
South Africa has seen the launch of several VOD services in recent months including Altech Node, a subscription “push” service and home automation system, and Vidi, an online VOD service from Times Media Group.
Telkom has expressed its interest to offer VOD by extending an invitation to industry to bid for the provisioning of VOD in February.
Vodacom meanwhile, said it aims to launch a VOD service in South Africa in 2015, with its strategy closely aligned to its parent company, Vodafone.
“We get revenues out from the data growth, as well as from the content itself. I think the margins in VOD is not big, but the knock-on effect it can have in data growth is very large, and I think that’s where the opportunity lies for us,” Vodacom CEO, Shameel Joosub told BusinessTech recently.
Joosub however, would not be drawn on an exact launch time frame.
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