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Telkom Unveils Zero-Rate Data Streaming Services

The rush for telecommunication glory is on, with all four SA operators introducing innovative products to lure customers.

Recently Telkom, which has the smallest market share, unveiled its zero-rate data music and video streaming services, LIT Video and LIT Music, which it says will disrupt the industry.

Since last year Telkom has launched a number of other products under its data-focused FreeMe package that have helped grow its subscriber base, especially in the mobile division.

Through its partnership with music streaming and video-on-demand service providers, the company will enable some of its customers to access selected platforms for free. Subscribers on a 2G bundle will be able to stream music through Simfy Africa, Google Play Music and Apple Music without their data being depleted.

LIT Video users who buy data bundles of 5G to 20G will also not be charged to use Showmax, Netflix, YouTube, and Google Play. But the LIT services do not include subscription fees with content providers. This means you’ll still have to pay a monthly fee to Netflix, but the data you use to stream content from it will be free.

LIT Video will be packaged with an Android-based set-top box, which can be connected to any flat-screen TV.

Telkom consumer and small business CEO, Attila Vitai, is confident that LIT will encourage existing customers to subscribe to its premium packages, and this will, in turn, increase the company’s average revenue per user.

He says streaming will be delivered in standard definition rather than high definition.

Will LIT, FreeMe bundles make users switch?

But will LIT – in combination with cheap FreeMe bundles – really be the disruptive force that convinces mobile users to switch to Telkom?

Analysts say packages like this may indeed attract new customers, but it’s too early to say whether LIT will be disruptive.

Anesu Charamba, programme manager for the digital transformation practice at Frost & Sullivan, says Telkom’s consumer strategy is innovative and daring for the local market, and it will be interesting to see how effective it is in the long run.

He believes LIT could attract customers who are shifting towards services and products that require high data usage.

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