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Zimbabwe: TelOne seeks broadcast license for VoD services

Zimbabwe , 20 Sep 2017

Zimbabwe: TelOne seeks broadcast license for VoD services

The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe has received an application for a broadcasting license from state-owned telco, TelOne, in order to roll out Video-on-Demand (VoD) services nationally.

TelOne confirmed the development and said it would allow it to expand its service to customers as well as diversify its revenues.

The telco had initially set June as the timeframe for rollout of VoD services, but this had to be postponed to meet the regulator's licensing conditions.

According to TelOne, the VoD services would be delivered via the high-speed network it has been building since 2015 after having secured US$98 million in finance from the Exim Bank of China.

The license application is subject to a period of evaluation during which the regulator will consider any concerns and thereafter make a final decision.

The VoD ecosystem in Zimbabwe has become increasingly competitive with several players including MultiChoice and ECONET's Kwese TV fighting for market share.

The ecosystem had become highly polarised following the decision of the authority to revoke Kwese TV's Dr Dish license - a move that was challenged before the Supreme Court which ruled in favour of Kwese TV and directed the authority to reverse its earlier decision on the license.

Kwese TV argued that the CEO of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe has no legal authority to cancel licenses and licenses are not restricted in terms of who provides the content.

The company further claimed the regulator's action favours its competition, DStv, as well as internet content providers such as YouTube, WhatsApp and Twitter who don't pay any licenses to 'broadcast' content in Zimbabwe.

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