Pay-TV incumbent MultiChoice will unveil a streaming mobile television offering at R59/month on 1 August.
DStv Mobile communications manager Maiyo Simapungula says the service is already available in a soft-launch phase.
The service is not technically a broadcast, but rather is streamed over 3G compatible handsets using Vodafone Live, Vodacom’s content platform. Users are not charged for bandwidth used.
Simapungula says all Vodacom subscribers, whether prepaid or contract, will be able to access the service.
According to DStv Mobile, subscribers will have access to 11 channels and a few video-on-demand programmes. Subscribers can chose to pay R59/month or R19/week.
Included in the offering are SuperSport Live Events, SuperSport Blitz, Africa Magic, CNN International, E Entertainment, and SawSee, a dedicated channel for movie trailers.
DStv Mobile will also stream two children’s channels and Channel O, a music video service. There’s also DStv Events, which will screen the most popular MultiChoice shows like Big Brother.
As part of the initial service, DStv says it is allowing viewers free access to the Idols Extra channel.
DStv Mobile has opted to stream its service instead of running a full broadcast offering because it is still waiting to hear whether it will be awarded a mobile broadcasting licence by the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa). Streaming is considered an Internet service and, as such, is not regulated.
MultiChoice and Super 5 Media have applied to Icasa for mobile broadcasting licences.
Free-to-air broadcaster, e.tv, is the only broadcaster that has been awarded a licence so far. But in spite of it being told at the end of May that it had won a licence, it has yet to receive the physical document from Icasa. It can’t launch a product until it has received the physical licence.
Icasa is expected to make an announcement in either late July or early August about whether MultiChoice or Super 5 Media will receive the second licence. — Candice Jones, TechCentral