High cost of data is slowing down Internet TV in Africa

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Internet TV, Naspers, Boorman, Showmax

 

Despite the growth in numbers of Internet users in Africa from 15 million in 2005 to 213 million in 2017, uptake of Internet television is still undermined by the high cost of data, global entertainment group, Naspers has said.

Citing data cost across the world, Naspers spokeman, Richard Boorman, noted that companies like Showmax, an online subscription video on demand service is seeing healthy usage in South Africa, but elsewhere, Internet TV is still at the nascent stage, as a result of the cost of data in Africa, reputed to be the highest in the world.

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Asked what Naspers is doing in that regards, Boorman said the company is trying to persuade telecoms operators in Africa to offer customers unlimited data to help boost the growth of internet television on the continent.

“The catalyst will be the provision of uncapped mobile data,” Boorman was quoted by ET Telecom.

According to the United Nation’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Internet affordability is still catching up on the continent.

Mobile ownership — encompassing both the cost of the phone and of data, voice and messaging services — as a share of monthly income is at 11 percent in Africa, far higher than other regions, according to a 2016 GMSA report, the global mobile operators association.

Internet television (or online television) is the digital distribution of television content, such as TV shows, via the public Internet (which also carries other types of data), as opposed to dedicated terrestrial television via an over-the-air aerial system, cable television, and/or satellite television systems.

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