By Staff writer

Video-on-demand (VOD) service VIDI has weighed into the current uncapped mobile broadband debate saying that the dearth of wholesale mobile broadband offerings is holding back the country’s entertainment industry.

The conversation around true uncapped mobile broadband has again been brought to the fore following a statement last week by the Internet Service Providers’ Association of SA (ISPA). The Association called for SA telcos to take bold action to bring down the costs of mobile broadband by introducing wholesale mobile data products. ISPA reasons that the absence of a wholesale mobile data offering is an obstacle to deepening broadband penetration as South Africans primarily access the web via mobile devices.

“While South Africans have rapidly-adopted certain basic Internet applications such as Internet banking and social media, this is because they are light on data and easily-accessible via mobile devices,” says Taryn Uhlmann, GM: Marketing at VIDI.

“The country is lagging when it comes to the uptake of data-intensive streaming entertainment because consumers are yet to be offered a fast, reliable and affordable mobile data experience,” she adds.

Uhlmann says local studios, production houses, actors and the like would all benefit from being able to showcase their considerable creative talent to even greater numbers of South Africans via Internet TV platforms like VIDI.

“Streaming web-based TV has the potential to democratise viewing in South Africa. Platforms such as VIDI require no specialised hardware and are offered on a subscription or pay-per-view basis. In addition, unlike traditional TV, there is no scheduling, allowing users to select what they prefer,” Uhlmann explained.

VIDI takes traditional television’s ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach and completely replaces it with an experience that places the viewer at the centre of customised entertainment.

“VIDI is playing its part to bolster the local web-based VOD industry by paying for viewers’ data as long as their video streaming experience is being delivered via fixed line broadband. What South Africa needs now is for the local telecoms industry to start developing the kind of uncapped mobile broadband offerings that resonate with consumers who are currently reluctant to access streaming video over mobile networks,” concluded Uhlmann.

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