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MultiChoice enters ISP game with DStv Internet launch

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In a bid to get more South African homes connected, MultiChoice today launched DStv Internet to provide internet access to those who do not have access to fibre services.

The pay-TV giant says the move to bring more value to customers and diversify its offering is part its ongoing evolution from a traditional video entertainment business.

MultiChoice delivers DStv, GOtv and Showmax to more than 20 million households across 50 countries in Africa, with the convenience of being able to enjoy content anytime, anywhere via satellite or streaming, says the company.

It explains that DStv Internet is a fixed wireless access service, which means customers can now 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.

The company says customers can choose from three data packages, 25GB, 110GB and 220GB.

DStv customers have the benefit of choosing from bundle offerings that include data options with their DStv subscription package, making it easier to stream their favourite content on any internet-connected device, it says.

“Customer experience is at the forefront of MultiChoice’s continued product innovation. DStv Internet provides South Africans with connectivity for all their household internet requirements, giving them more convenience and choice,” says Nyiko Shiburi, CEO of MultiChoice South Africa.

New premium service

Nyiko Shiburi, CEO of MultiChoice South Africa.
Nyiko Shiburi, CEO of MultiChoice South Africa.

The DStv Internet offering also includes an exclusive new premium service called DStv Trusted Home, an AI-driven network security and WiFi management solution developed jointly by MultiChoice’s digital platform security subsidiary Irdeto, and Minim – a creator of intelligent networking products.

The DStv Trusted Home not only comes with an iOS and Android app that puts subscribers in control of their WiFi connection, but also protects consumers’ home network from online security threats and malicious attacks and keeps children safer online with parental control features, says the firm.

It notes the DStv Trusted Home app is only available for use with DStv Internet routers. There are two router models that customers can purchase – the ZTE 286C and ZTE 286 R. The routers are included in the bundle and contract offerings.

“Great speed on its own is no longer enough; consumers demand more. In a time when people spend more time online than ever before, WiFi management and security of their home network and parental controls around children's behaviour online have become increasingly important services for operators to provide,” says Shane McCarthy, COO of video entertainment at Irdeto.

“Trusted Home by Irdeto and Minim is beneficial for both operators as well as consumers, and we are pleased to be able to provide this to MultiChoice and their customers.”

“The AI-driven network security and WiFi management solution enables broadband providers to strengthen their reputation by providing a superior broadband experience. Therefore, we are excited to work with Irdeto and Minim. The collaboration has enabled MultiChoice to provide the best security features for DStv Internet,” Shiburi says.

As part of the launch of DStv Internet, the first 20 000 customers will receive a free 12-month subscription to the DStv Trusted Home app, says the company.

After 12 months, customers will have the chance to opt out or add a monthly charge of R30 to their DStv Internet bill, it adds.

MTN has been selected as MultiChoice’s network partner. “We are proud to partner with MultiChoice to enhance access to digital services in South Africa. As a network wholesale provider, we are gearing up to serve the broader digital eco-system to ensure more people can benefit from a modern and connected life,” says Quintus De Beer, executive for managed network services at MTN SA.

Bringing connectivity to the unconnected, DStv Internet gives customers the opportunity to turn their homes into the place to be, says MultiChoice in a statement.

“Customers can now choose bundle options that includes a DStv Internet data package with their DStv subscription, making it even easier to stream their favourite shows from the DStv App, and Showmax. Customers who don’t have a DStv subscription can use DStv Internet to stay connected to social media, their friends and family, and work and learn from home,” it adds.

Managing usage

The company points out that DStv Internet includes access to the DStv Trusted Home app that allows customers to manage their usage, with users able to run speed tests and manage data consumption; access parental controls to make sure children are not spending too much time in front of their screens and set limits accordingly; and review and approve connection requests.

In addition, the app will block attacks and malicious websites. AI protects every device on the home network.

With DStv Internet, there are three monthly data products to choose from:

• 25GB anytime and 25GB night-time data

• 110GB anytime and 110GB night-time data

• 220GB anytime and 220GB night-time data

Over the past year, MultiChoice has introduced new technologies, products and services, says the company. This includes the recently increased stake in Pan-African online sports betting company BetKing to 49% and an expanded DStv Insurance offering.

Consumers will be able to purchase DStv Internet online or at DStv walk-in centres across South Africa.

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