In a first-of-its-kind initiative, Samsung has partnered with SES satellite services to drive digitalisation in Africa. The free service will be available on selected Samsung LED TV’s, and will provide access to 60 free-to-air TV channels that do not require a separate decoder.
Without a decoder, I hear you say? Well, that’s where Samsung has innovated once again: the TV’s are fitted with built-in satellite tuners.
It’s like cutting out the middleman.
Announced yesterday at the Samsung Africa Forum in Cape Town, the new service will be introduced to six African countries, and there will be 30 English, and 30 French channels to select from.
South Africa is not one of the countries that will be getting the service yet, unfortunately.
Thus far, the six countries in which the service will be offered include Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria and Senegal.
The service will launch as early as the third quarter of this year, and Samsung says it would be adding more channels, and further regions in 2013.
Christoph Limmer, Senior director of marketing development and marketing for Africa at SES:
The opportunity lies in providing a growing sophisticated African viewership with a significantly increased number of TV channels – a first for many African countries.
The initiative shows further evidence of Samsung’s overall long-term commitment to the continent in terms of the provision of digital and information technologies.
Last year, Samsung launched their Internet Schools Programme that saw solar-powered schools being established in mobile, solar-powered containers.
Speaking at the forum yesterday, Samsung Africa CEO KK Park said:
Over the next three to four years, this growth will be underpinned by a focus on three key premises: built for Africa research and development; B2B and B2G partnerships supported by key CSR initiatives; and of course, growing and strengthening our partner network across Africa to reach our core mission – to inspire the future of Africa.
He continued that they have aspirations of growing their business in Africa to $10 billion by 2015.
Regional product manager at Samsung Africa, Dae Hee Kim:
The large investment by Samsung into the development of these products, so that they remain affordable and competitive within the market, while not compromising quality and performance, is a key indicator of our commitment to meeting the demands of the African people.
Even though digital satellite television penetration is low in Africa, SES already operates in 40 countries in Africa, and this is where Samsung sees the possibility for a long-term relationship.
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