The Managing Director of South African telco MTN has indicated that he hopes to launch a commercial IPTV service either this year or early next year, and is already running limited customer trials, according to local reports.
Online news source TechCentral quotes Karel Pienaar as saying: “If you look at the evolving of MTN into a services company, content will be a key component of that.
“We have been experimenting for a long time with IPTV and content in all its forms and shapes. We have a new platform where we are doing limited customer trials.”
Pienaar adds however that before launching any TV service, he wishes to ensure that the pricing and experience for consumers is correct, and anticipates a future in which South Africans will eventually be connected by fibre and LTE networks, creating big opportunities for telcos.
“MTN is absolutely there, but it’s not something you rush into. We are experimenting with dozens of different options. Depending on how successful the trials are, we would like to bring IPTV to market this year already.”
A recent report from UK firm Digital TV Research predicted that South Africa will remain the dominant pay-TV revenue generator in Sub-Saharan Africa between 2016 and 2018, although its share of the US$ 4.62bn total will fall by fourteen percentage points to 47%.