Telkom offers free data access for streaming service, Showmax

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Telkom, the South African fixed and wireless telecoms company has entered into a partnership with ShowMax, the Naspers-owned video streaming service.

Through their agreement, subscribers of  specific packages such as Telkom’s SmartPlan 100, SmartHome Premium, Supreme or Infinite, LTE-A  packages or any subscription to a 10 Mbps service or anything greater than that will have zero-rated access to ShowMax.

It’s being run as a promotion that comes with one month’s free access to the ShowMax service for anyone who subscribes to these Telkom packages.

For South African subscribers of video content, this is just another glimpse of the level of competition that lies in their broadband and VOD services markets. One other VOD and broadband operator, MTN also zero-rated access to the FrontRow service. It should be highlighted, though, that MTN was effectively zero-rating the data cost for its own VOD service.

All this does, however, highlight some avenues that can be explored by broadband providers in other markets. The Telkom/Showmax promotion has been powered by the need to create an awareness of VOD as a service that can be enjoyed through a good internet connection.

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Perhaps the various local internet providers could do the same? ShowMax isn’t active for Zimbabwe yet, but that doesn’t mean the idea can’t be sold to it. Besides, such an engagement doesn’t have to be just ShowMax. Other VOD services can also be courted for the same arrangement.

Looking at TelOne, the Zimbabwean Telkom equivalent, this sort of arrangement would augment its efforts to increase its visibility in the Fibre to the Home market, while giving some weight to its better-suited ADSL packages.

The VOD services market in South Africa has undergone tremendous changes over the past year and a half, but eventually the disruption will find its way across the Limpopo.

While Econet has only just announced its entry into this space, perhaps other operators might want to see how they can tap into VOD as a future service line. Getting a feel of the market with a promo of sorts just might be the best way to find out what will work.

image credit: Telkom SA

11 Comments

  1. macd chip says:

    “….All this does, however, highlight some avenues that can be explored by broadband providers in other markets…”

    Where is all the noise about net neutrality gone?

    What is then wrong with Econet doing the same to their ownai.co.zw product?

    So you are saying this is good business for other broadband providers to copy, bt not good for Econet to put into practise?

    Am l seeing the PhD syndrome here!!

    1. Frank says:

      Where is the like button?? I need to like your comment.

    2. Nigel Gambanga says:

      *Sigh*

      “It’s being run as a promotion that comes with one month’s free access to the ShowMax service for anyone who subscribes to these Telkom packages.”
      “The Telkom/Showmax promotion has been powered by the need to create an awareness of VOD as a service that can be enjoyed through a good internet connection.”

      @Macd Chip It’s a promotion, not a permanent arrangement. That one huge difference with any other service provider that makes preferential access to a single service a lasting feature is what separates right from wrong.

      Lol Dude, are you seriously going to play the PHD Syndrome card?

      1. macd chip says:

        but your statement still stands, lets say a business buys your idea and want to pursue it, are you going to turn around and say “buy the it was a statement from a promotion so it only works if you want to run promotion”?

  2. Tapiwa✓ says:

    Now that the shoe is on the other foot re:Kwese: I wonder what Mr. Masiiwa’s current opinion on zero-rating is

  3. Kainos says:

    The hypocrisy is astounding, econet was demonised when it announced zero rating now its a brilliant idea bcoz it has been done by a south African company, talk of hating ourselves as Zimbabweans…

    1. Nigel Gambanga says:

      @Kainos A good idea deserves praise no matter where it’s from. I’m sure you understand this because you just called the Telkom promo brilliant. At the same time, a bad practice needs to be pointed out, no matter which part of the world it has emerged from. It’s hardly a case of “self-hate”. I doubt that being Zimbabwean means turning a blind eye to what local companies are doing, even if it hurts the business environment.

  4. Justin says:

    All the fuss about net neutrality makes me sick. In other sectors it’s good business. leverage your idle resources to unlock shareholder value. Then the hippies the tech sector want to rewrite the business manuals!

    1. Anonymous says:

      another good angle to look at things Justin!! Why have all the resources lying idle when you can offer them for free and gain customer mileage.

  5. Justin says:

    We love to complain when econet charges us an arm and a leg for their services. When they go the free route the gates of hell are opened.

    1. Gary says:

      The only reason being coz the other 2 Networks are sub-standard and still are. The few Visitors that fly or drive to Zimbabwe buy or roam with Econet…. Whenever I drive past the Econet Shop in KK there is always a queue.. Walk past a Netone or Telecel Shop and you always have an empty chair to sit down on!!!!Econet are greedy like DSTV and over price on all products esp Broadband…

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