TelOne is in the final stages of launching a video streaming broadband package for its ADSL and fibre customers. The package will allow TelOne customers to stream movies by paying for streaming in addition to the regular packages. At least that’s the plan from what we understand so far.
Speaking to Techzim this past week, TelOne Managing Director, Chipo Mtasa, said they have engaged international and local partners for the streaming service and are currently finalising for launch.
The streaming service is part of TelOne’s efforts to bundle services together and offer triple play: voice, internet and TV.
The TelOne MD said they are still focusing on their core areas and will only be delivering this through partners. “Content has not been our core area so we have partners that have experience in the business in order to bring better value. Our aim is to have our clients streaming more content through the TelOne platform, both ADSL and Fibre,” she said to us.
Essentially this will introduce another TV option to Zimbabweans. But it will have to offer real value even just to become an alternative.
Currently, Zimbabwean consumers mainly rely on DStv, pirate OpenView HD and pirate DVDs bought off the streets, for TV. A few Zimbabweans with the pockets for it stream Netflix and some YouTube. If the pocket’s not so deep, it’s really just short entertainment videos on Facebook and WhatsApp. YouTube, Facebook and WhatsApp are especially good for local content because the platforms have user contributed content. Pay-TV platforms like DStv, OpenView and DStv are broadcaster controlled and rely on acquiring professional content, hence not much local stuff.
Streaming is data intensive and it quickly uses up whatever monthly allowance of data customers buy on capped packages (which are the ones most can afford).
This is hopefully the problem that TelOne is looking to solve otherwise there’ll be no point buying the service. Which means the company has to somehow manage to keep the cost of delivering the data content below and affordable price for customers. At the same time, the customers will need to get value that they aren’t getting already through their regular data packages – which means the content on the streamed services needs to be as good as Netflix – at least in variety.