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MTN SETS THE STAGE FOR THE GREATEST BATTLE OF THE DIGITAL TV COMPANIES

Following closely on our heels is the recent news of the license procured by the largest Telco in Nigeria,MTN from the Nigerian Broadcasting regulator,NBC to provide digital pay TV broadcasting on the 700 MHz spectrum in Nigeria.

However,it is no secret that NBC sold the license for N36 billion ($154 million) in a race to meet up with deadline given by International Telecommunications Union, ITU in 2006.The international body instructed all its members which Nigeria is one to switch over from analogue TV to digital TV by June, 2015, but this has been shifted again to 2017.

Like a pregnant woman who has 9 months of grace to prepare for her unborn baby, I presume NBC too must have some plans in check to meet up with the directive before the set time. But my utmost concern is MTN’s sudden entrance into the digital pay TV market.

Bringing into cognizance the impact of other digital pay TV companies like Multichoice. Multichoice DSTV has been in the market for more than 20 years and it is still ruling with over 4 million subscribers in its coffers. Star times too is not faring bad with about 1.2 million subscribers since 2012 that they entered the market while Go TV who entered almost at the same time with Star times boasts of about 299, 000 subscribers. I must admit it is not surprising that MTN is moving to this field, remembering their efforts with Dobox and Afrinolly last year, both streaming services for Hollywood.My bone of contention is how it intends to plunge into the market with all these statistics.

First of all is content.Content is the key to the industry, any day, any time. MTN’s entrance will definitely increase creativity in the sector as a result of rich content and strengthen competition because of availability of options for subscribers with pricing having its own effect by the side.

Its presence in the sector will also bring innovation to the forefront, though there are speculations that they may adopt the kind of service offered by Safaricom in Kenya. The service includes a 4G enabled system that incorporates data and Pay TV services, has recording capability,a USB and SD media playback for pictures, music and video.

All this are mere speculations but I can bet the other digital pay TV companies in Nigeria are right on their toes with the entrance of their new competitor, MTN.


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