New age telco providers
With the telecommunications sector rapidly evolving, there is now an emerging trend from telecom providers to extend their voice and data services to include other digital terrestrial services such as video on demand as part of the packages they offer. This has created another sub-sector in the telecoms space with its own potential for growth and resellers that are willing to get involved in this sector.
The age on unified communications has been upon us for many years. This statement is very true when it comes to the corporate space, but the single communication platform concept did not extend to African homes until recently.
There is now an emerging trend from telecommunications providers to extend their voice and data services to include other digital terrestrial services such as video-on-demand (VOD) as part of the packages they offer and it has created another sub-sector in the telecoms space with its own revenue potential.
One could correctly state that the traditional telecoms provider is "dying". A number of telecommunications companies on the continent are starting to include video streaming in their offerings and changing their traditional business models and the way consumers view them as service providers.
Last September, Altech, which together with Bytes Technology Group, forms part of the telecommunications, multi-media and IT division of Altron launched the Node, as a new video-on-demand service.
Altech's Node is a subscription "push" video-on-demand service and home automation system, which was preceded by the launch of a similar service by South Africa's Times Media Group called Vidi. They both have similar entertainment offerings.
Like Vidi, Node offers a subscription service which gives users access to TV shows and older movies, while newer movies can be rented for a prescribed fee.
Unlike services such as Netflix and Vidi, Node's VOD offering does not require a broadband connection to stream the content over. Instead, it uses the same satellite as Africa's Digital Satellite Television service DStv to push content to a decoder-like set-top box (or "Node"), which is then stored on a 1 terabyte hard drive.