Econet Wireless, it is emerging, will be launching a new subscription and “pay as you go” TV service called ipidi in the coming weeks to few months. A job advert for a marketing director that the company posted to its website last week Wednesday shows the company is looking to fill the position, in their words, “as soon as possible” for the South African market.
It’s not clear yet how the service will work but it will have a set-top box and indications from the advert are that Econet is looking to compete with the expensive TV options on the market. We’re guessing this means they’re gunning for Multichoice’s DStv but we could be wrong. The new marketing director, the ad says, needs to “very quickly establish it in the SA market as a desirable, aspirational and dependable alternative to the more expensive TV options that are currently available.”
That Econet Wireless International was looking to do pay TV is not new news. Liquid Telecom did indicate back in November that they were working on something for the Kenyan market come 2014. Nothing further was mentioned regarding the Kenyan launch, or a Zimbabwean launch that was supposed to follow.
Well, nothing except this mention that the company has apparently quietly started the ipidi rollout in Kenya and Zimbabwe. Seeing none of the people at Liquid Telecom Zimbabwe have so far agreed that they are already working on an IPTV product (the Liquid Zimbabwe MD denied this at our recently held Broadband Forum), we’re guessing they are moving super stealth with this one, for reasons best known to them. But if it is indeed true that Zimbabwe is moving already, those stealth operation reasons likely have more to do with licensing than anything else.
Indeed it looks like the only market Econet Wireless is happy to be launching in without careful treading is the South African one. However and whatever the reasons, ipidi has come, and Econet is looking to sell the first 150,000 set top boxes soon.