Multichoice Kenya launches mobile decoder

Technology & Convergence

Kenyan pay television service provider Multichoice Kenya has launched a new mobile decoder into the Kenyan market that will enable its subscribers have access to mobile television services.

The new mobile decoder dubbed Drifta, targeted at mobile television enthusiasts will see subscribers within the firm's mobile network coverage areas in Nairobi, Mombasa and their environs have access to various DStv channels.

The launch of the new mobile service by Multichoice Kenya comes on the background of stiffening competition in the Kenyan pay television market. The entry of players like Wananchi Group through its Zuku brand and giant telecoms operator Bharti Airtel who have announced their intention to enter into the Pay TV market once a monopoly of the South African Pay TV subsidiary has seen the race for pay TV subscribers in Kenya hot up.

Felix Onyango, General manager of Digital Mobile Television Kenya limited (DMTV) which has partnered with Multichoice Kenya to provide the new product, said it was unveiled as a response to the need for Kenyans to get traditional pay TV services 'on-the-go'.

"We are responding to Kenyans' increasingly mobile culture. Kenyans can now enjoy television anytime, anywhere," he said. Onyango said the new product would ride on the success of earlier introduced mobile television services in the country by DStv and DMTV.

In 2008, DStv in partnership with DMTV introduced DStv Mobile on the Digital Video Broadcast - Hand held (DVB-H), which is a broadcast medium that allows for the digital terrestrial broadcast of live television channels to mobile phones.

Stephen Isaboke, the general manager of Multichoice Kenya hailed the new product saying it would enable subscribers enjoy Pay TV services better by controlling their television viewing. He noted that new technology was key to enhancing Pay TV viewership.

"The development and introduction of new technology is key to ensuring that DStv subscribers get more enjoyment and control of their television viewing," he said.

There are two types of the Drifta mobile TV decorder: one which works like an internet modem and connects laptops and PCs and the second type which works with a variety of devices such as iPhones and iPads.