Kwesé Play has announced the launch and immediate availability of their media device in South Africa. The device is developed in partnership with Roku and will see customers also receive a free 3-month subscription to Netflix when they purchase.
The initial launch is only for South Africa but it is likely that we will see Kwesé make it available in other Afrikan countries too as time goes on.
“Kwesé Play will launch initially in South Africa and will roll out across Sub-Saharan Africa,” read a statement announcing the launch of Kwesé Play.
The announcement will likely be welcomed by South African consumers looking for an alternative to Multichoice's DSTV offering. DSTV has long been viewed by some as a monopoly in South Africa's pay-TV sector and accused of exorbitant subscription fees, not only in South Africa but other countries such as Nigeria.
There is, however, a difference in how Kwesé Play works compared to Multichoice's DSTV. Whereas with DSTV you purchase a decoder and choose a monthly subscription plan which gives you a specific amount of channels, Kwesé Play allows you to buy their media device and then you create a Kwesé account, activate your device and choose which channels you would like to subscribe to. Allowing you to only pay for what you want to watch.
"Roll out in the rest of Africa will begin as soon as more stocks arrive. We expect to begin before [the] end of November . We have license clearance for most countries already. If you have already bought a satellite decoder by then, you'll get priority if you want to swap it. And we will give you a special discount," said Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive chairman at Econet Wireless.
During the first quarter of 2017 Liquid Telecom, an Econet Wireless company finalized its acquisition of South African telecommunications company Neotel. At the time Liquid Telecom said that they plan to invest in improving and expanding Neotel’s infrastructure. With plans to make extensive upgrades and expansions to Neotel’s network. This includes plans by Liquid Telecom to make investments in Neotel’s data center capabilities, which currently include two Tier 3 designed state-of-the-art data centers in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Neotel’s network in South Africa will now link together with Liquid Telecom’s fiber footprint across Africa to offer access via a single connection to over 40,000km of cross-border, national and metro fiber networks.
Given the acquisition of Neotel and Liquid Telecom's footprint, it was clearly a strategic decision to assist another Econet Wireless company, Kwesé, with the distribution of its services where necessary considering that video on demand is best delivered over a fiber network. More interesting as well is that the Kwesé Play launch comes barely several days after DSTV announced that its subscribers will receive Showmax for free.
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