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DStv Internet service taking off, says MultiChoice

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Pay-TV operator MultiChoice says its DStv Internet offering is showing growing uptake.

However, the company expects intense competition from internet service providers (ISPs), which have had a long head-start in the tightly-contested market.

In September, MultiChoice entered the ISP game when the video entertainment company announced its offering.

DStv Internet is a fixed wireless access service, which means users can get connected to the internet with a SIM card and WiFi router – an option for those who do not have fibre in their residential area, but want to access the internet regularly using various devices in their home.

Customers can choose from three data packages: 25GB, 110GB and 220GB.

Simon Camerer, chief operations officer of MultiChoice, tells ITWeb via e-mail: “Customers are hungry for good data deals, for use across a variety of applications – not just streaming their DStv content.

“Customers have shown keen interest in our offers and are enjoying the option to add data easily to their existing DStv subscriptions. Our specials, launched with Black Friday, will be running until January next year and have all had good take-up.”

In a recent media statement, MultiChoice CEO Calvo Mawela said DStv Internet is “is taking off quite nicely”.

However, Camerer did not disclose how many subscribers have been signed up. “We are not in a position to reveal non-public data at this time,” he says.

Nonetheless, he acknowledges the fierce competition in the ISP space. “Competition in this space is intensifying, with the number of providers continuing to expand.

“Branded LTE offers are also now coming to market from a variety of traditionally non-ISP or connected brands. We expect competition to increase, giving customers more choice on how they connect to the internet with attractive, well-priced options to entice them.

“We continue to look for ways to add value to our customers’ lives through additional services in our ecosystem. The addition of services like DStv Internet to our digital ecosystem provides the convenience to customers of dealing with one service provider for multiple needs. They also trust our brand and our services, including in home installations, all of which makes our offering very competitive.”

According to Camerer, customers’ viewing habits are constantly changing. “We are constantly adapting to customers’ viewing habits through our rich content and technology innovations.

“Services such as Showmax in the OTT [over-the-top] space, DStv via streaming in the ‘linear’ space, and connected devices like the Explora Ultra, mean we are able to meet these changing habits and can be increasingly less dependent on what distribution channels customers use.”

MultiChoice is also eagerly waiting for telecoms regulator the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) to hastily auction the much-needed spectrum that will boost telco services in the country.

Says Camerer: “Spectrum allocation by ICASA is expected to boost coverage across the country, lead to lower data prices, and with 5G, increase speeds tremendously, all of which we can leverage over time thanks to our wholesale arrangement(s) with telcos.

“As more and more people connect, at lower cost data and greater speeds, with better coverage, we expect to see more continued growth in online content consumption and this will provide better opportunities for us to create even better value out of the internet service,” he concludes.

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