Hong Kong firm enters SA VOD fray


Johannesburg - Asia’s PCCW Global has launched a video-on-demand (VOD) service in South Africa as the local streaming internet space heats up.

On Wednesday, PCCW Global launched ONTAPtv.com which will allow South Africans to download or stream content via the website or dedicated apps.

Content on offer includes local and international television series and movies. Television programmes also range from SABC series to content from Warner Bros and the BBC.

In total, PCCW says it has 2,500 movies and episodes. PCCW is also promising Chinese content.

Subscriptions for the service range from R39 per month for the African ONTAPtv content to R89 per month for a ‘mega-pack’ with all content access to the service. Users can also test out the service in a free trial mode.

In addition, customers can also subscribe to movies from R15 for a 48-hour rental, according to the company.

The company further said that it’s struck a deal with Wi-Fi provider AlwaysOn in which 15GB of data for 30 days will cost R29 per month and 50GB costs R59. AlwaysOn has Wi-Fi hotspots across the country.

PCCW is the holding company of HKT Group Holdings, a Hong Kong-based information and communications technology firm.

Last year PCCW Global announced that it plans to provide telecoms and technology services for the R84bn Zendai smart city project in Modderfontein, Johannesburg.

Competition in the local video on demand space is heating up in South Africa amid a flurry of launches.

Netflix said earlier this year that South Africa is on its radar for its global expansion and that the country could get the service by the end of 2016.

In August, global media and internet company Naspers launched ShowMax, a service which offers thousands of television shows and movies.

ShowMax, meanwhile, was launched to compete with already-existing Time Media Group service Vidi and MTN’s FrontRow.

In addition, a subsidiary of French telecoms company Orange told Fin24 last week that it too plans to launch a video streaming product in South Africa next year.

However, there have also been casualties in the local video on demand space.

On Tuesday, local technology group Altron announced that it’s shutting down its Altech Node business. The Altech Node was a satellite-connected box which delivered VOD content in high definition to subscribers. But Altron indicated that its uptake has “not met expectations” and that it is subsequently shutting down the service on October 31.
Source: News24 Tech 16 September 2015