MTN Digital TV service has been launched in Jos, Plateau State. The OTT-VOD service marks a new era in Nigeria telecommunications, broadcasting and media convergence as the TV service has gone live on Thursday following the issuance of a digital broadcast license to MTN by the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) last year.
The platform, which is called Over-The-Top (OTT) service, is enabled by a digital broadcast infrastructure including transmitters and masts mounted in Jos within the record time of the commencement of the digitized broadcast programme of the NBC.
Speaking on the service that has gulped about N54 Billion, MTN Nigeria CEO, Ferdi Moolman said “MTN is committed to providing Nigerians with innovative digital platforms which will enhance the way we live, work and play. Once we commence full commercial activities, the TV service will deliver an exciting bouquet of rich local and international content to Nigerians.
“This will be the first fully converged broadcast and OTT-VOD service to launch in MTN,” he said.
With the digital TV service, MTN Nigeria Executive, Lynda Saint-Nwafor, said Nigerians could now watch TV programmes on their smartphones and other devices via Over-the-Top platforms like WhatsApp, BlackBerry Messenger, Facebook and Twitter, among others.
Saint-Nwafor further stated that MTN’s vision was to lead the delivery of a bold new digital world.
“We are committed to exploring opportunities and avenues to expand our digital footprint and value offering to our customers. We are, therefore, constantly seeking appropriate channels to place the latest technologies and services in the hands of Nigerians, and this is one of such,” she added.
Also speaking at the event, Jason Lobel, Group Head of MTN Group, South Africa said the platform was enabled on the digital set-up boxes being distributed by the NBC, to give additional 30 free channels the telecom giant will roll out to its subscribers within the next two years.[irp]
He said the bouquet launched by MTN will avail subscribers using the NBC set-up boxes, the opportunity to watch favourite channels on demand, explaining that the Video-On-Demand service affords customers TV programmes at their preferred time as they will no longer have to rely on what the channels have to offer at specific viewing time.
“This is enabled by our super-fast LTE (digital technology) network,” said Lobel adding that “we have erected our transmitters in Jos, done in a record amount of time.”
This is coming two weeks after the federal government launched the digital broadcasting switch-over in Plateau state.
In her remark, Julie Austine of Inview Technology said the digital platform has added value to the ongoing digitisation broadcast programme of the federal government in the match to meet the June, 2017 deadline.
The MTN TV service was rolled out today in partnership with Inview Technology and Pinnacle Communications.[irp]
While Inview Technology provides the free TV software, Pinnacle Communications provides actual broadcasting.
The TV service is already available to the 200,000 TV viewers in Nigeria the federal government promises to provide with free set-up boxes.
Meanwhile, despite lossing of 2.6 trilion subscribers in the first quarter of 2016, MTN Nigeria is set to roll out its Fourth Generation Long Term Evolution (4GLTE) broadband services latest by July 2016 in selected cities.