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Streaming TV is still in its infancy in Kenya, with individual channels opting to broadcast their own content online. That is bound to change, as internet Service Provider Jamii Telecom enters the PayTV race with Faiba TV, a bundled service that delivers over-the-top (OTT) content through an internet connection and an Android box.  

The Faiba TV Android box costs KES 10,000 (US$ 98), which is a one-time fee. Users will need to have a connection of 5mbps or more, which Jamii offers at KES 5,000 (US$ 49) per month. The connection allows users to download the relevant apps from their desired content providers and they can then use the same connection to stream the content.

Faiba TV is ideal for cord-cutters who are abandoning cable and terrestrial connections to get their TV content through the internet. It comes with access to streamed content from anywhere in the world through providers such as Netflix and Cloud TV.

Netflix offers unlimited access to movies, documentaries and series at between KES 815-1,222 (US$ 7.99 – 11.99) per month, while Cloud TV, which carries Sky Sports, news channels CNN, Bloomberg, BBC World News and CNBC, is available for KES 1,000 (US$9).

JTL’s move mirrors that of pay TV pioneer

Wananchi Online, whose Zuku Triple Play service comes with an internet connection, TV and a phone. However, while Zuku’s TV service is broadcast on the digital platform, Faiba TV offers users streaming access to over the top (OTT) providers.

“Jamii Telecoms will partner with local media houses to develop apps that can be bundled on the Android box”, CEO Joshua Chepkwony said at the launch of the service. “This will make local content available to a global audience.”

He clarified that JTL would be offering the broadband connectivity and the Android boxes, but customers will have to subscribe to the OTT content independently.

“We are not in the business of selling content. However, we want to add value to our customers with Jamii Android boxes, so that they can utilise the bandwidth capacity they have in a better way,” Mr Chepkwony said, adding that Jamii Telecoms’ fibre connection prices remain the same.

JTL operates a residential and business fibre network in Nairobi’s Central Business District, Westlands and Industrial Area, as well as in Mombasa, Nakuru, Eldoret and Kisumu.

With the Android boxes subscribers can also view free movies and live TV shows which are streamed online for free through legitimate channels.

Mr Chepkwony said the upcoming Internet access and digital TV revolution has been made possible by improved telecommunication infrastructure that can support advanced technologies such as cloud computing.

“While traditional TV (linear TV) is broadcast-based, streaming technology turns that model on its head, empowering consumers to watch news or any other content on demand. Reliable and affordable broadband connectivity is the key driver of this shift,” Mr Chepkwony added.

Photo Credit: William Hook via Compfight cc

Eric Mugendi Author

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