Mr. David Venn, chief executive officer of Spectranet said that online video streaming will become better with the launch of fourth generation technologies (4G LTE) in Nigeria.
Venn who was speaking on the recent announcement by Spectranet to deploy first server for Netflix in West Africa, said that lovers of movies and TV series now have better deals, adding that the gesture will push the pay-tv stations to rethink on their strategies.
Low Cost Online (Video) Contents
He said, “To have a better experience on Netflix you need to have fast internet connection. That is why the Netflix customers are going to have better experience because there will be no buffing; with $10 a month you get the movies in a high definition (HD) and you can watch on two screens. It means you could be watching television at home and someone else could be watching via the smartphone, different content on the same account. In other words, with $10 a month you have all the contents available to you; watching unlimited times. The contents are mainly movies and TV series. Netflix is not even resting on its oars in making available new contents. They spend billions of dollars in producing their own contents.
“Therefore, lovers of movies and TV series now have better deal; you could be watching series from office, continue in your car while heading home after work and you can get home, turn the TV on and resume from the spot you pursed. Now, I am in Nigeria and my son is in UK, we watch Neflix on the same account”.
Venn gave insight on the choice of Spectranet by Netflix thus, “Netflix was looking for a broadband (internet service) provider with high speed an offers quality service. So, they selected Spectranet. We now have a dedicated Netflix server. That contains the whole content (library) of Netflix. Every night it is updated with the California server. So, as new episodes are coming out (fro series) they are updated simultaneously.
“It happens at night when the internet is not too busy, because it requires a huge data to download HD videos. They gave us the server, managed remotely. What that means is that, normally, if you were using Netflix in Nigeria that was downloaded from the UK and US. So, you were internationally streaming videos from their server. But now, with the server in Lagos, it is like local content. On our network you go straight to the server and streaming will be much better and faster for our customers.
“The key thing for us is not only one of the first in Africa to get Netflix server, we are the only one in West Africa. No network provider in West Africa, of any sort has it, including Nigeria. In other worlds, their customers still have to stream movies and TV series from either UK or U.S., for us it is local. They chose Spectranet because of our quality network. They love the fact our customer watch their movies a lot. They have the statistics”.
He added that the partnership will also boost local contents such as IrokoTv and Nollywood contents.
“On local content, you already got IrokoTv which is doing quite well. Last year we encouraged our customers to watch IrokoTv; they are a lot of local content (Nollywood) on the platform. That too is helpful. For the fact I am on Netflix, I can as well have IrokoTv account. It gives you choice for foreign and local contents. IrokoTv app can be launched on Netflix, because there are a lot of Contents (apps) on it. For instance, I can watch SkyNews live. I have DStv at home, but I have no time for it, because SkyNews is there and all the Tv series I need are on Netflix. So, I can download IrokoTv app on Netflix and it becomes part of the menu. I am not using a browser; it looks more like a TV station. For instance Apple Box (containing Apple TV), you do not subscriber to it. It is more of plug and play.
“Now, if you acquire Apple Box, it even accords you further varieties. When you view, it synchronizes your Netflix account. So, you do not need to buy the movie the second time. And Netflix is a competitor to Apple Tv. Apple Tv is a different model where you have to pay for everything you watch. If you move to news; SkyNews for instance, I can clique on any piece and watch or view live broadcast. They stream on my internet service.
4G LTE Is Data Driven…Costs of Streaming HD Videos
“The truth is that data is getting cheaper than it was two years ago. We also introduced unlimited night time data usage for our customers. From 1:00am to 7:00am, it is totally free. Thus, you can watch Netflix at night without any cost. Netflix also has its package; if you are a (Netflix) customer, you do not come to us, rather you go to them. They have a first month free package; no obligations as you can choose to sigh off/cancel anytime. So, the $10 monthly subscription is free for the first time you come on board.
“During the day and early evening you will pay for the data (Spectranet). I maintain that data prices are coming down. 80% of our customers are on 20GB plan (which is now 25GB for the same price with free unlimited night browsing). Neflix is an OTT service and we love it. You can switch to non-HD; that is standard view experience, so as to save your data. Secondly, you do not pay per Netflix movie, but monthly, which is cheaper than pay Tvs we have around here.
Plans for Sustainability (Partnership to Drive Traffic)
Spectranet remains the most reliable internet service provider in the country. Our up time is higher than any operator. The last thing you would want to happen is for the internet to be off, especially when you have movie to watch. We have been doing this for over 5 years and the first to launch 4G LTE. With the experience we have gotten we know how to manage 4G LTE network.
“It is very different from managing voice network. We have the backups- generators, batteries, all to make sure network is up. Even if they fail, we have a third party towers to connect instantaneously. We have our data connectivity to our core data centre located in Lagos and connected to major submarine cables like MainOne and three others. Even if the submarine cables are down, you are not losing any data, because the content is local. The only thing that will affect the process is the synchronization at night, because new episodes need to be downloaded. So, if you are using another internet service provider in Nigeria, you cannot access the server”.