Telkom to grow zero-rated streaming service, LIT

2017-11-07 21:00 - Kyle Venktess, Fin24
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Telkom. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

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Cape Town - There might be new developments in the offing for fixed and mobile operator Telkom's zero-rated data streaming service, according to a spokesperson. 

Erna Korff, Managing Executive of Product Development and Management at Telkom said to "watch this space" for developments around the service which is believed to include an extension of the service to prepaid, among other new developments.

In September Telkom bolstered its service offering to customers with its game-changing zero-rated streaming platform LIT, an add-on to its competitive contract FreeMe packages.  

LIT allows the network’s contract customers to stream TV, videos and music for free with no data cost.

Speaking to Fin24 at the AfricaCom telecoms and technology conference, currently being held in Cape Town, Korff said that the FreeMe packages has been received well by the public and the company was looking to expand on the service. 

“We recognised the consumers' need for the service and we are looking at making access to streaming content more affordable to customers,” Korff said. 

Prior to Telkom launching LIT into the market, the company was concerned about the strain that its own network would take due to the traffic expansion that accompanies zero-rated video data. 

To counter strain on the network, Korff said that Telkom partnered with Huawei, its infrastructure provider, to assist with assessing and predicting the increase in network traffic when LIT entered the market. 

The companies used a video compression adaption in order to reduce quality of content from services like DStv Now, Showmax and Netflix - all of which stream free, but require their own subscription. 

The video is compressed to the standard definition (360P), which cannot match high-definition when watching on an HD TV, but is hardly noticeable that it is not HD while viewing on a smartphone or smaller screen. 

Korff said that the music LIT package had seen a positive uptake since its launch.

She added that while Telkom customers roam on the MTN network, the company invested heavily in infrastructure development, to improve network quality at the beginning of the 2017/2018 financial year.  

LIT offers South Africans content from providers including:
• Google Play Music and Movies;
• iTunes and Apple Music;
• YouTube; and
• Simfy Africa.

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