Ericsson is rolling out a new video-on-demand (VoD) service in Africa, launching initially with Airtel Nigeria.
NuVu is a new subscription service that offers viewers a range of television and film content that aims to capitalise on the growing adoption of smartphones in Africa.
The platform can be integrated into telecom operators’ customer relationship management and payment systems and is able to distribute content to viewers during off-peak periods.
Ericsson said this functionality offered a solution to the cost challenges that had previously hindered the take-up of VoD services in Africa.
Thorsten Sauer, Head of Broadcast and Media Services at Ericsson, commented: “Africa has some of the highest mobile adoption rates globally, with ever-increasing levels of investment and infrastructure. However, downloading is currently preferred to streaming due to connectivity issues.
“We believe there is a huge opportunity to open a window to a world of content through mobile devices that may not otherwise be easily accessible.”
NuVu will launch with Airtel Nigeria in the first quarter of 2016, when it will be rolled out to some 30 million subscribers.
The service will initially be available as a smartphone app, before coming to “other platforms and operating systems.”
Ahmed Mokhles, Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Nigeria, said: "One of the key advantages of NuVu is that customers will have the flexibility to enjoy a variety of entertaining content, including music videos, comedy, movie trailers, cartoons, sports among others on their mobile devices anytime, anywhere they desire.”
While Ericsson has noticeably stepped up investments in TV and media activities in recent months, the company has yet to reap the benefits.
Sales at Ericsson’s Support Solutions division fell eight percent to SEK 3.3 billion (€355 million) in the third quarter, but CFO Jan Frykhammar told European Communications that its investments in the sector should result in revenue growth “quite soon”.