Tag Archives: Econet

Econet creates East Africa wi-fi network

South African telecoms company Econet has launched a wi-fi hotspot network across Kenya, Zambia, Rwanda and Uganda to provide affordable internet access.

Nic Rudnick

The network was set up through Econet subsidiaries Liquid Telecom Group (LTG) and Cassava Fintech International (CFI).

Nic Rudnick, group CEO at LTG, said: “We firmly believe that every African has the right to high-speed connectivity and with this platform, we are making this vision a reality.

“This initiative is in line with our parent company Econet’s vision of an inclusive, connected future that leaves no African behind. The connectivity network that we have created with these hotspots will ensure ubiquitous access for businesses and consumers at extremely affordable rates. This is yet another milestone achieved in building Africa’s digital future one individual and business at a time.”

Darlington Mandivenga, CEO of CFI Group, added: “We consider the wi-fi network to be a vital piece in the social and financial digital inclusion agenda that we are passionately driving across Africa. It is part of our broader strategy to provide solutions that address everyday problems for everyday people. In this case, we are offering more affordable internet access to African communities, including those previously excluded.”

The two companies aim to create a wi-fi marketplace that helps ISPs, franchisees and digital service providers unlock new revenue streams by creating job opportunities. Backed by broadband infrastructure, the service is enabling more people in Africa to access the benefits of the internet.

Following its successful launch in Zimbabwe, the service will soon be available in South Africa, South Sudan, DRC, Botswana, Burundi, Lesotho and Tanzania.

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Iflix sells Africa business to Econet

Malaysia-based digital entertainment platform iflix has sold its African service, Kwesé iflix, to telecoms company Econet Global.

Mark Britt

Econet’s purchase of the service, which it helped iflix form and in which it already held a “significant stake,” follows the company’s decision to transition its Kwesé TV direct-to-home service to a digitally focused business.

Iflix first entered Africa in the sub-Saharan region in 2017, before teaming up with Econet in February this year to expand the platform to East and Southern Africa, rebranded as Kwesé iflix. The move saw Econet acquire a stake in the service, which provides viewers across the region access to live sport, entertainment and local and international series and movies, including first-to-market exclusive programming.

In May, Kwesé iflix was extended into to Zimbabwe ahead of the summer’s FIFA World Cup.

“The conclusion of our acquisition of iflix Africa is a natural progression for our revised business strategy as a group, particularly the Kwesé business, which offers premium broadcasting services,” said Hardy Pemhiwa, CEO of Econet Global.

“With the immense growth and positive uptake of VoD and OTT services across the continent, we believe connected services – particularly mobile – are the future of broadcasting in Africa.”

Pemhiwa said he was hoping to grow Kwesé iflix’s original programming portfolio of “homegrown content” as the service continues to expand across the continent.

“The recently launched Kwesé iflix original Nganya, of Kenyan origin, has already enjoyed immense success. We look forward to continuing this trajectory with the introduction of an impressive slate of original programming, with an exciting Tanzanian telenovela set to launch in February 2019,” he added.

Iflix co-founder and CEO Mark Britt said: “The acquisition by the Econet Group, our regional partner, is a significant milestone for the African business and further reinforces iflix’s commitment to our core markets in Asia, particularly Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, which continue to go from strength to strength.”

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Kwesé iflix strikes telco partnerships

Kwesé iflix has partnered with two telcos to make the new African streaming service available to more customers.

Richard Iweanoge

Days after its launch, Kwesé iflix – which is offering coverage on the ongoing FIFA World Cup – has struck strategic partnerships with MTN and 9mobile, giving their subscribers access to the fledgling platform.

Adeolu Cairo, 9mobile’s director of consumer segment, said: “As an innovative and customer-centric telecom operator, 9mobile is always on the look-out for ground-breaking ways to enrich the lives of our teeming customers and Nigerians as a whole.

“Therefore, we are excited at the ample opportunity this collaboration with Kwesé iflix affords us to increase our investment in bolstering the growth of football and the bourgeoning Nigerian entertainment industry in a way never seen before.”

9mobile customers will be offered premium VIP Kwesé iflix content for three hours at N500 (US$1.38). Customers also have an option of subscribing to Kwesé iflix for N500 for three hours (valid for three days), N1000 for seven hours (seven days) and N2500 for 15 hours (30 days).

Richard Iweanoge, general manager of brands and communication at MTN Nigeria, said: “We are excited to be working with Nigeria’s emergent digital entertainment provider to offer premium TV and video content to our consumers.

“Some of the extraordinary content on offer includes live coverage of the World Cup tournament in Russia, blockbuster movies and much more.

“This is part of our effort to continue to deliver innovative services to Nigerians through our wide distribution network across the country – in consonance with the MTN vision to lead the delivery of a bold, new, digital world.”

MTN will offer its subscribers 24-hour access to the Kwesé iflix app at the rate of N250. Customers can access data bundles on MTN to choose between one-day, three-day, seven-day or 30-day VIP passes.

Kwesé iflix initially launched in partnership with Bharti Airtel, another of Nigeria’s leading telcos.

Airtel offers its subscribers unlimited streaming of all Kwesé iflix premium VIP content for N300 per 24 hours. It also offers one-, three-, seven- and 30-day VIP passes.

Kwesé iflix is a joint venture between between Econet and and iflix. One of its main attractions is its freemium tier, which allows users to access a range of programmes for free.

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