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Safaricom looks to digital TV for revenue

Safaricom looks to digital TV for revenue.

Kenyan telco Safaricom says it is in talks with the Communication Authority (CA) to secure a broadcast licence to extend its content line.

Speaking to journalists at the launch of The BigBox in Nairobi, Kenya - Sylvia Mulinge the general manager of consumer business said that in the coming months they will be able to work with local producers to introduce content on their platform.

“We have applied to the CA for a broadcasting licence that will enable us to develop and host more content. We look forward to receiving the licence to allow us to provide more products and services for our customers in the segment,” Safaricom said in a separate statement.

Mulinge explained that the decoder is a normal free-to-air set top box that will carry the free local channels through the various digital signals available. But the promise is in the internet connection they will give to their consumers.

The BigBox currently is a route to push the adoption of 4G internet that is currently in Nairobi and Mombasa. The BigBox can enable up to ten users to share internet connection at one time.

“The set top box is like a Wi-Fi router,” Mulinge said. “But subscribers can access free to air channels as a plus.”

New subscribers will pay an initial Kshs 4,999 and pay monthly (Kshs 999) for six months. Users can also pay a one-time fee of Kshs 9,999.

This new offering will adversely affect Africa Digital Network’s (Royal Media Group, Nation Media Group and Standard Group) plans to introduce internet enabled decoders that hit a snag when the CA stopped its importation.

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