Econet eyes Television Broadcasting Market

HARARE – Econet Wireless has applied for three separate broadcasting licenses, becoming one of the first to respond to an invitation for applications by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ).

BAZ last week invited companies and individuals interested in video on demand (VoD), webcasting and content distribution services to apply for licensing. Econet, which has struggled with license issues for its satellite broadcasting firm, Kwesè TV, had according to BAZ submitted applications for the three categories when invitations were announced.

On introduction into the country, Kwese offered its services using a license belonging to a third party, a relationship that was severed late last year. BAZ said Econet applications were to offer the services on a national scale and the regulator gave stakeholders 14 days to support or oppose the application by the telecommunications group.

VoD is an interactive television technology that allows subscribers to view programming in real time or download programmes and view them later. The service is referred to as “on demand” because consumers are able to access a programme which has been broadcast as and when they wish to do so.

The service can be delivered directly over the internet to advanced television sets or computers or alternatively can be provided via a set-top box, almost the same as what is commonly referred to as a decoder. Webcasting on the other hand is the process of video broadcasting live over the internet, commonly referred to as live streaming.

Government telecoms firm, Tel One late last year also applied for a VoD license and the status of the application remains unclear.

– New Ziana