Tag Archives: Vodacom

OTT mobile subs to grow 50% by 2026


African OTT video consumption will be driven by the increasing number of mobile internet subscribers and is expected to grow by another 50% by 2026 to reach around 709 million, according to research.

International data company Dataxis found increasing numbers of OTT subscribers now choose mobile operators’ apps, and with the growth in the streaming market, mobile operators are, in turn, offering their own mobile platforms to capture the growing demand.

“Since mobile internet subscriptions are more accessible and affordable than fixed internet, OTT platforms have had to adapt their model to make their content easily consumable on mobile and a lot of multinational telecommunication companies such as Globacom, Airtel, MTN, and Orange have decided to become full players in the video streaming market in sub-Saharan Africa,” said the report’s writer and analyst, Léa Zouein.

Léa Zouein

“In 2021, mobile operators’ streaming platforms accounted for 26% of OTT and SVoD subscribers in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the challenges that could still prevent streaming platforms from becoming widely used, mobile operators that have been partners of streaming platforms for many years, are now becoming players in their own right by offering all-in-one services including voice and data phone packages, TV access and streaming content.”

In Africa, telecoms companies including Orange Group and MTN have launched various mobile applications so subscribers could watch various content offerings.

In May 2021, Kenyan mobile operator Safaricom launched its own mobile streaming service, Baze, with local and regional short videos.

In the same year, Nigerian multinational telco Globacom introduced its Glo TV mobile app offering TV channels and streaming content.

Airtel, Globacom, MTN, Orange, Safaricom and Vodacom are all examples of telecoms companies deciding to become full players in the video streaming market in sub-Saharan Africa.

In the coming years, Dataxis predicted, OTT video consumption will be driven by the number of mobile internet subscribers, which grew by about 8% between 2020 and 2021 and is expected to grow by another 50% by 2026 to reach around 709 million.

“For several years and in various African countries, MTN has been a partner for multiple streaming platforms such as Wi-Flix, Showmax and StarNews and, more recently, for the Kiwi platform launched in early 2022 by the group Cote Ouest Audiovisuel,” continued Zouein.

“Vodafone and Safaricom both work with Wi-Flix. Vodafone also works with StarNews alongside Moov and Orange, and Vodacom is partnered with Netflix, Showmax and Amazon Prime Video. Mobile operators therefore continue to aggregate streaming platforms while launching their own services.”

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Vodacom rolls out 5G in South Africa

Telecoms service provider Vodacom has begun the deployment of 5G mobile technology in South Africa and is set to launch in three cities.

According to the telco, this is Africa’s first live 5G mobile network and is currently available through 20 5G sites.

The network will support both mobile and fixed wireless services and is initially available in the cities of Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town, while additional cities will be added in the future, the company said.

Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group’s CEO, said: “Vodacom’s 5G launch in South Africa comes at an important time as it will help us improve our network efficiency during the Covid-19 national state of disaster.

“During this difficult and unprecedented period, we are proud to offer world-class network technology to South Africa and all of its associated benefits as we provide an essential service to keep the country connected. This is largely due to the allocation of temporary spectrum by [South Africa’s watchdog] ICASA, which has already mitigated the network congestion we have experienced since the start of the lockdown period.”

Vodacom was recently assigned temporary spectrum by ICASA for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic, including one 50MGz channel in the 3.5GHz band, which has been used to fast-track the carrier’s 5G launch.

The carrier noted the deployment of 5G will help it manage the 40% increase in mobile network traffic and 250% increase in fixed traffic experienced during the lockdown.

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Hopster skips into Africa

Preschool learning and entertainment platform Hopster has launched in Africa in partnership with South Africa’s Vodacom and Congolese telecom provider MTN.

Hopster on a variety of devices

Consumers can now watch educational shows such as Bino and Fino, from Nigerian animator Adamu Waziri, and other animated African and West Indian nursery rhymes. International preschool hits such as Pingu and Peppa Pig are also available.

Hopster founder and CEO Nick Walters said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have launched in Africa with both Vodacom and MTN. We see real potential for Africa to be a ‘leapfrog’ market – with a new generation of users moving straight to finding their favourite content mobile first, rather than on TV.”

Customers can access hundreds of Hopster’s educational localised French preschool shows, books and music as part of MTN’s time-based data plan packages, as well as via Vodacom’s new VoD service, Video Play.

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