Ericsson, Airtel to Battle DStv for Nigerian Subscribers

Ericsson has announced the launch of NuVu, which is an end-to-end subscription video on demand (VOD) content service that will be made available to customers sometime within the first quarter of 2016 to over 30 million Airtel subscribers in the country.

In association with Airtel Nigeria, NuVu, said it will improve the service in the next few years to allow it include all genres of entertainment including Hollywood and Nollywood movies, music (secular and gospel), educational documentaries, television series and kids channels. Its special feature will be the built-in ability to distribute content to consumers during off-peak periods.

NuVu subscribers will have access to around 3,000 local and international TV and film titles for a monthly fee. Customers will also be able to download content directly to their smartphones or tablets at no additional data cost during the network’s off-peak times and access the content offline for up to 30 days after downloading.

Prospective customers can expect NuVu to be initially launched as an Android app for smartphones which will provide subscribers with a personalized user interface, bookmarking and personal recommendations. Overtime, Ericsson is set to make the service available to other platforms and operating systems.

“At present, downloading is preferred to streaming due to connectivity issues. We believe there is a huge opportunity to open up a window to a world of content through mobile devices that may not be easily accessed otherwise. Airtel is the perfect partner to help us launch NuVu as one of the largest operators across Africa and the third-largest mobile operator in the world. We are very proud to launch NuVu in Africa and we look forward to rolling out this service to other markets over the coming year”, said Thorsten Sauer, the head of Broadcast and Media Services at Ericsson.

According to Ericsson ConsumerLab, 61 percent of consumers watch TV and video on their smartphones, a figure that has increased to 71 percent recently.

Over 50 percent of studied consumers binge watch content at least once a day and only 5 percent claim that they never binge watch content. About 42 percent refrain from consuming content on any device if a service is not available offline.

DSTV Nigeria, the South African pay television, has come under fire in recent times for increasing subscription rates unfairly.

One example was in April 2015 when they hiked their subscription fee by 20 percent.

Several Nigerians have blamed the indiscriminate acts of DSTV on their monopoly in the market.

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