Huawei launches TV-streaming service for Middle East
MuchTV sees infrastructure specialist take aim at digital content market
In a surprise announcement, Chinese tech giant Huawei has said that it is launching a TV-streaming service for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The service, dubbed muchTV, is free to download for a limited time. Available on Android and iOS, as well as desktop, it promises a "rich" library of movies and programs from around the world. Huawei said that the content library had been designed for the demands and tastes of the regional audience.
"Leveraging Huawei's global presence and existing media partnerships worldwide, the library contains a versatile mix of streamed video-on-demand and short-form content. The service offers unlimited streaming of its rich library of content," the company said in a statement.
"The service also provides users with a variety of parental controls, self-adaptive streaming, and the ability to host multiple-profiles and earmark favourite content for future viewing."
A check on the library reveals that there are plenty of older "classic" films available, from The Bridge On The River Kwai and 2001: A Space Odyssey to Reservoir Dogs and Forrest Gump. However, newer titles such as the animated films Up and Frozen also seem to be available.
The service is free while it is in launch mode, and can be downloaded by users in the GCC, Levant and North Africa.
It is unclear what strategic benefit Huawei hopes to gain from muchTV, given the company's traditional strengths lie in network infrastructures. And while the company does have a smartphone division, muchTV is available on any platform, meaning that the company isn't looking to leverage muchTV as a differentiator.
Huawei simply said that the announcement is a signal of the company's expansion into the digital content and hosting space. It provided examples of other moves it has made towards this goal in the past.
"As part of the company's InTouch Partnership Program, it is supported by over 2,100 partners worldwide collaborating across eight global Hosting Centers. The company's first Middle East Hosting Centre-launched last year-supports the technological requirements of the inTouch Program including muchTV," the company said.
"Support includes access to open developer interfaces, app development tools, technology support staff and training, and testing environments to speed up the commercial progress of new services."