LG signs TV content deal with Etisalat for Africa

Technology & Convergence

Africa is drawing attention as a future hotspot for the global telecom and personal device industry, for which local electronics giants Samsung and LG lead the pack. Samsung said last May it aims to gain $10 billion in revenue by 2015 in sub-Saharan Africa with its consumer electronics and mobile gadgets. To that aim, the world’s largest maker of panels and smartphones regionally crafted air conditioners and flat-screen TVs with a safeguard against sudden power cuts and humidity, and used solar rechargeable batteries for laptops. It set up a local unit in South Africa in 2009.

LG, the second-largest TV maker, teamed up with Emirates Telecommunications Corp., known as Etisalat, in June to enter the Middle Eastern and African markets. Under the deal, LG will supply its TV content to Etisalat, which boasts more than 200 million subscribers of fixed-line and mobile phone and Internet Protocol TV services in 18 countries in the two regions. It targets a 40 percent market share of the 3-D segment there.

“Much of the growth in Sub-Saharan Africa came from improved domestic demand, which contributed 5.4 percentage points to the GDP increase last year,” the World Bank said in a report.

Last year, the Korea Communications Commission and the South African government forged a partnership for wireless broadband and mobile and Web-powered TV services in the African country.

President Lee Myung-bak called Africa the “hope for the future of this planet,” vowing to help with the region’s prosperity during his visit to Ethiopia in July.

“African economic development driven by its billion people will create new demand, greatly contributing to the constant growth of the global economy in the 21st century,” Lee said at Addis Ababa University.

Such strategies would help Korea gain a competitive edge against mighty competitors such as China and other western leaders, said Kim of SERI.