MTN, the largest telecommunications company in Nigeria (by subscribers) is set to roll out its new Mobile TV service which would enable its subscribers to watch live TV on any data-enabled device.
Recall that MTN introduced a mobile TV service in 2007 using the Digital Video Broadcasting for Handheld (DVB-H) platform, but required its subscribers to purchase special handsets to enjoy the service.
Its new mobile TV service would now allow any data-enabled phone or device such as Blackberry, iPhone, iPad and Galaxy Tab, among others to live stream TV content such as television programmes and related content from up to 20 TV channels.
Of course, South African PayTV channel, DStv has several mobile TV services including the Walka, Drifta and the recently launched Walka 7 and iDrifta (for iOS devices) which provide their about 700,000 subscribers across the country the opportunity to watch its TV content via their mobile devices, even on the go.
Now it appears that MTN is looking to eat DStv’s lunch with its new mobile TV offering, although it appears to be partnering with DStv for its mobile TV roll out.
According to MTN Nigeria’s Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, Larry Annetts, there would be three bouquets for subscribers to choose from, depending on their budget and they can subscribe to one or more Mobile TV bouquets which has a selection of up to 20 TV channels providing a variety of content ranging from news to sport and entertainment.
In order to enjoy the service, MTN subscribers would need to activate the WAP browser on their mobile phones and devices, then access MTN Mobile TV packages via the MTN Play Portal, or type in the URL of the Mobile TV portal on their devices.
MTN says the Mobile TV service is already active on its network, although not yet available commercially to customers. But when it does become available, it appears the price points would be reasonable, although if you’re already a DStv or StarTimes subscriber and perhaps use their mobile TV service, you wouldn’t be needing MTN after all.
With over 43 million subscribers in Nigeria, MTN’s new mobile TV service could be a huge competition for Multichoice’s DStv mobile TV offerings, although the quality of TV content and data service to stream the content could make or mar MTN’s success in the mobile TV business.