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Huawei takes on SA's streaming players with new VOD service

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Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has launched its video-on-demand (VOD) streaming service, Huawei Video, in SA.

The new service offers a free and monthly subscription video service made available to users via a Huawei smartphone or tablet that runs EMUI 8.0 to EMUI10, while other users can download the app from the Huawei AppGallery.

Huawei takes on a list of local VOD players, including Netflix, Showmax, Video Play from Vodacom, Prime Video from Amazon, and Apple TV, which made its local debut in October last year.

Cell C terminated its VOD service, Black, in November due to low subscriber numbers.

Huawei says it has partnered with broadcasters across the globe to bring the service to its mobile customers. The local launch follows a successful expansion of Huawei Video in Europe and the Middle East earlier this year, the company says.

With over 10 000 hours of content and 30 million short videos clips, Huawei Video has expanded in recent months to meet the growing demand for mobile-first video consumption, according to a statement.

Huawei Video users can enjoy some globally popular content, including documentary channel The Explorers, BBC News, short video clips channel DailyMotion, film channel Filmbox and Toon Goggles for children.

The company says new content titles will be added every week, as it looks to include content aligned to the South African market.

“We are really excited about the launch of this new product,” says Likun Zhao, VP of Huawei Consumer Business Group for Middle East and Africa.

“Huawei devices not only guarantee our customers the best high-definition video experiences wherever they go but also provide them with the best content whenever they want it. Thanks to our new partners joining the Huawei Video ecosystem, we will be able to offer an even wider range of content in new formats and display modes.”

A “free area” including a selection of news, factual and entertainment programming will be accessible without charge, while affordable monthly subscription packages will offer premium content from several partners, the company says.

To provide better viewing, Huawei says it has improved the video interface on its devices to offers a more fluid and user-friendly experience.

The Chinese multinational telco recently introduced Huawei Mobile Services to replace Google Mobile Services on its newly-launched South African smartphones.

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