by Douglas Mboweni
Kwese TV customers can now “tether” their decoder channels to their mobile phones in a new service called “Kwese TV Everywhere” (TVE) unveiled at a Kwese media and customer event hosted by Econet Wireless in Harare last night.
The service, which is set to give Kwese customers even more choice, will allow customers to use their mobile phones to watch the same channels simultaneously watched at home. A Kwese decoder account comes with up to five TVE accounts.
Announcing the service, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe CEO Douglas Mboweni, said the service will be the beginning of a different mobile TV experience in Zimbabwe.
“We are excited to launch the beginning of the Mobile TV experience we have been talking about. It marks the total convergence of our Telecommunications, Media and Technology (TMT) business model,” said Mr Mboweni.
He said Kwese customers in Zimbabwe will soon be able to do “TV roaming” in other countries where Kwese is available, adding that to support the Mobile TV Experience, Econet had rolled out more than 575 fixed Wi-Fi hotspots and 240 mobile sites throughout the country, in collaboration with its sister company ZOL.
Mr Mboweni said Kwese customers can access the service by downloading the Kwese App (from the Apple App Store or from Google Play) onto their smartphones or tablets, and enter their account details that are only available to customers with a Kwese decoder.
“Mobile TV requires fairly considerable amounts of data and we are mindful that some customers will prefer to enjoy their mobile TV on a Wi-Fi network, rather than on the 3G or LTE networks”, he said.
“Plans are already underway to expand our Wi-Fi hotspot footprint into every public area in the country, including in colleges, shopping malls and airports,” said Mr Mboweni.
Meanwhile, the head of Econet Media Zimbabwe, Dorothy Zimuto, confirmed that the Kwese team had been overwhelmed by demand for its service and were now working to hire and deploy more Technites (installers).
“Because of the overwhelming demand, we are training more Technites every day, in order to meet the demand,” Mrs Zimuto said.
The launch of Kwese TV in Zimbabwe has already contributed to direct job creation, with more than 2 500 jobs directly created, along with many more downstream opportunities created through the launch of the service. Kwese TV now operates in 15 African countries: namely Zimbabwe, South Africa, Lesotho, Zambia, Swaziland, Malawi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Uganda, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Kenya, and Botswana.
In addition, Kwese Free Sports (KFS) operates in 23 African countries. In a surprise announcement at the same event, a director for Econet Media, Zachary Wazara, announced prizes for the Cosafa Women’s Championship, 2017.
For Zimbabwe in particular, the prizes will cater for 20 players and nene officials who will share R250 000, including a Kwese decoder, free installation and a 1-month FREE subscription for each team member and official.
These prizes have been traditionally given to the Cosafa men’s teams only. However Kwese, which seeks to promote sports inclusivity, has matched and extended the prizes to the women teams as well. The Herald