Interview: Seemahale brings Cloud TV to Africa

Thabo Lehlokoe, Chairman of Seemahale Telecoms

Seemahale Telecoms is an authorised Nangu TV reseller in Africa, which gives the company the rights to resell Internet Protocol (IP) television solutions to telecommunications companies as well as broadcasters on the continent.

“Nangu TV is an interactive TV and multimedia platform. It allows access to TV over the Internet using other devices like tablets, smartphones and the desktop,” says Thabo Lehlokoe, Chairman of Seemahale Telecoms.

“The Nangu TV platform offers both IPTV and Internet TV or Over the Top (OTT) TV. The business approach is to offer cloud TV as an open access. With support for Over the Top (OTT) delivery, Nangu TV is well suited for building cloud TV services. This will help democratise television services in South Africa and the rest of the continent,” says Lehlokoe.

The Nangu TV platform offers subscribers the ability to consume Live TV as well as non-linear TV features including: Pause TV, Start over TV, Catchup TV and Video on Demand (VoD) services anytime and anywhere on various technology devices.

This service offering will revolutionalise television services in Africa because service providers operating on the Nangu TV platform can offer it through a wholesale model for other operators to deliver fully branded services to their existing clients, says Lehlokoe.

“All the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and operarators in Africa who are offering Internet based services to their clients can become virtual video operators through the Nangu TV platform,” says Lehlokoe.

Seemahale Telecoms has signed a reseller agreement with Alnair A.S, a Czech Republic-based company to resell its Nangu TV solution to the African market.

Seemahale Telecoms is now the first company in Africa to be given the rights to deliver Nangu TV,  for operators in the continent.

The company showcased their Cloud TV product at the recent Broadcast, Interactive, Internet and Hybrid TV in Africa Conference, held at the Sandton Convention Centre, South Africa.

Currently they’re in discussions with various content providers. “We’re in talks mainly with African telecommunications providers,” says Lehlokoe.

African Broadband

“Nangu TV is entering the market at the right time due to the proliferation of undersea cables in Africa, which offer increased international bandwidth.

“In Africa, there’s increased activity in the construction of fibre optic cables. This is fuelling the current price wars. There’s an increased adoption of broadband products, including Nangu TV,” says Lehlokoe.

In future, with Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) in South Africa, there will be increased competition for access to people’s homes by service providers, with fibre to the home being a strong reality.

Lehlokoe made an example of Kenya’s Wananchi, an East African company already providing fibre optic services to the home. He says with bandwidth available at home, people can enable triple play service like voice, data and video to be fully utilize.

Company Background

Seemahale Telecoms was formed in 2008 as a consortium to bid for Motorola’s Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) partnership through the equity equivalent structure. Seemahale was chosen as Motorola’s services venture partner as part of the Equity Equivalent programme.

Seemahale was chosen to be Motorola’s home and networks premier partner, to resell their products and services.

“These included the video head-end equipment and set top boxes,” says Lehlokoe.

“We were appointed as the third party sales representative for Motorola networks.  We could sell 2G, 3G, WiMax and LTE carrier networks in partnership with Motorola.

“ In 2011, the Motorola Networks was subsequently sold to Nokia Siemens Networks.”

Lehlokoe indicated that Seemahale is currently in the process of finalizing the specifications for the set top box.

Bontle Moeng