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Watching television on mobile phones on the increase

BUSINESS
By Macharia Kamau | November 18th 2013

By Macharia Kamau

Watching television on mobile phones is expected to become common soon as mobile operators increase value added services on their networks.

The move is driven by the increasing attempt by various telecommunication companies to grow revenue streams across Sub-Saharan Africa.

The growing number of smartphones in the market and deployment of faster networks by mobile operators are aiding the shift in consumption of TV content.

Though delivery of TV content on mobile phone seems futuristic especially in Africa, telecommunications infrastructure firm Ericsson says there will be 913 million mobile connections in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2019.

It adds that 65 per cent of these connections would be on the third generation (3G) network.

At the moment there are 560, 000 mobile users in Sub-Saharan Africa and these are expected to grow to 913 million by 2019.

Some telcos have begun testing Long Term Evolution (LTE) – 4G – networks, which are projected to have upwards of 100 million customers across Sub-Saharan Africa by 2019.

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“The region’s mobile data traffic is estimated to grow around 17 times between 2013 and 2019 mobile data traffic will be driven predominantly by the uptake in smartphones and increased viewing of video,” says Ericsson Mobility Report released last week.

The huge number of people projected to be on 3G and 4G networks offers opportunity for content producers and mobile operators to partner in delivery TV content.

Johan Meuwissen vice president Ericsson Region Sub-Saharan Africa noted that currently, 27 per cent of the households in Sub-Saharan Africa have TV sets, and half of them have pay TV.

He said this is in comparison to about 50 per cent of the population having mobile phones. Meuwissen said there is an influx of smartphones and feature phones.

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