Streaming TV comes to SA phones

2010-08-02 09:21

Cape Town - Vodacom has launched a streaming mobile service for its 3G customers that allows viewing of popular TV shows and music videos on the devices.

In partnership with On Demand SA, Vodacom has launched a mobile service that promises users whole seasons of popular international TV shows in cellphones.

"We'll be releasing Season One of the shows, and soon we expect to catch up to be close to where the current season is, but it will never be the same season," an On Demand SA representative told News24.

Vodacom has announced a subscription of R75 per month or R20 per week for prepaid or contract customers, and though there is a "fair use" policy but a spokesperson insisted that it would not be enforced.

"Look, there is a fair use policy and we don't want people to play music videos and just leave their phones lying there, but no, we don't want enforce it for now," said a representative.

No iPhone support

TV shows available include Sex in the City, Grey's Anatomy, South Park and Lost. While there are no South African TV shows available, Vodacom said that it would open the platform to local producers and users of the service do not pay additional costs for data.

"The introduction of subscription video on demand with full length programming to the mobile environment heralds a new era in the growth of mobile video," said Tony Kelly, CEO of On Demand Group.

Unfortunately, Vodacom said in a statement that the popular iPhone is not currently supported, but that it has been added to the company's "road map" for a future release.

While streaming mobile video has some measure of popularity in the UK and US, the trend over the last few years has seen fewer people watching more streams, though Vodacom would not be drawn to predict what the uptake might be in SA.

To activate the service, Vodacom customers with 3G phones can SMS "ondemand" to 31116 or visit Vodafone live! from their cellphones.

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  • PRESHEN GOVENDER - 2010-08-02 09:46

    But the phone battery life will died before you finish the show

  • Juan - 2010-08-02 10:57

    vodacom should just give all their subscribers a 1gig bundle per month. Handsets these days are very data-intensive with youtube and google maps, etc so they are still very archaiic and draconian in their data prices

  • Charles - 2010-08-02 11:42

    Vodacom can't even deliver a decent call or data service on their existing network (in Bryanston/Douglasdale) and they want to add more band-width intensive applications.
    Vodacom sucks!!!

  • Gary - 2010-08-02 12:45

    I share your sentiments Charles, If it was not the company policy to use Vodacom I would have switched service provider a long time ago, I stay in Bryanston and have absolutely no Cell signal at home.

  • Lloyd M - 2010-08-02 14:52

    Glad I moved over to MTN. I am also considering not calling people on Vodacom since most calls go thru without even ringing & the I never seem to hear the person on the other end of the line. If I have money to spare, I'll opt for Top TV.

  • David Collett - 2010-08-02 20:48

    Sounds great - now just get 3G on the Gautrain and we're all set to go otherwise this is pretty much dead in the water.

  • Paul - 2010-08-03 09:33

    err.. If their is no cellphone signal at home, just turn on the TV

  • Hardy Stephens - 2010-08-03 10:49

    Vodacom could start by substantially reducing the number of dropped calls which I experience every day, by providing me with the cellphone connectivity that I should reasonably be able to expect at my home in the southern suburbs of Cape Town, by ensuring that the incredibly expensive 3G data connection which I use with my laptop is able to connect at a reasonable speed in most urban environments. ( I find it quite shocking that I get better 3G connectivity in remote country towns such as Middleburg Cape, Barkly East and similar places than I am able to achieve in most locations around Cape Town or Johannesburg. It would be a little bit easier to stomach the grossly excessive charges if we were receiving exceptional and world-class service. However, it seems that Vodacom only want to load more and more revenue producing services onto the creaking infrastructure without ploughing any money back into upgrades.

  • chris - 2010-08-03 11:21

    And who pays the TV licence?

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