Nic Hailey speaks at launch of first Kenyan PayGo solar satellite TV package

AzuriTech Launch
Nic Hailey speaking at the launch of first Pay and Go Satellite TV package. Photo: Twitter/UKinKenya

The UK High Commissioner to Kenya, Nic Hailey, hosted yesterday’s launch of the first complete pay-as-you-go satellite TV package in Kenya.

Leading UK based provider of PayGo Solar home systems, Azuri Technologies, and home entertainment satellite provider, Zuku are aiming to target households without electricity in the Kenyan market.

AzuriTech Launch
Azuri launch the first solar Pay and Go Satellite TV package in Kenya. Photo: Twitter/UKInKenya

Combining solar home power, 24-inch TV, satellite dish and Zuku Smart+ entertainment with 48 TV and 21 radio channels, the AzuriTV system will focus on households outside the power grid offering affordable TV, anytime, anywhere, in one complete PayGo package.

While Kenya has over 12 million households, the TV household penetration rate is only 38.2 percent as of 2015, according to a Research and Markets, Kenya Digital TV Forecasts report, with free-to-air broadcasting still the primary access method.

The service is initially available in selected regions of Central Kenya but will be rolled out progressively nationwide in 2017, targeting the over 5 million households that are currently outside of the power grid.

AzuriTech Launch
Nic Hailey at the launch of first Pay and Go Satellite TV package. Photo: Twitter/UKinKenya

Speaking during the launch in the area of Mwea, Kenya, Azuri Technologies CEO Simon Bransfield-Garth said: “Solar power has made huge strides. Just a few years ago, a small solar light was new technology. Today we are providing a TV and service provision that would not look out of place in any major city in the world.”

Azuri Solar TV launch
Azuri CEO Simon Bransfield-Garth at the Pay and Go solar satellite TV package. Photo: Azuri

He added that rural off-grid consumers face three key hurdles to being able to watch TV – access to power, service coverage and the high up front cost of the installation. AzuriTV addresses all three, providing affordable TV, anytime, anywhere.

Speaking on behalf of Zuku Satellite TV, CEO Jay Chudasama said the innovative approach, will not only offer a revolutionary way to reach out to over 5 million homes without electricity in central Kenya, but also contribute greatly towards deepening the television penetration in the country in general.

“This is a very exciting opportunity we are giving our customers and viewers to have more choices and enjoy the experience to watch over 40 Zuku TV channels that offers high-quality and affordable family entertainment with emphasis on the local content.” – Jay Chudasama, CEO of Zuku Satellite TV

Through Zuku TV, customers can enjoy a number of exciting channels including local free-to-air channels, international channels and Zuku branded channels; Zuku Sports, Zuku Swahili, Zuku Kids, Zuku Life Glam and Zuku Nolly.

The cost for the service will be a daily charge of Ksh 149, for which the customer will have access to an optimized 24-inch television integrated with Zuku TV with up to 5 hours of normal viewing per day, a powerful solar home system providing four bright home lights, mobile phone charging and a rechargeable portable radio.

AzuriTech Launch
First Pay and Go Satellite TV package launches in Kenya. Photo: Twitter/UKinKenya

Customers pay the top-up rate via mobile money, allowing them to use the system as much as they want for the credit period. After as little as 2 years of payments, customers will own the equipment and continue to pay only for the satellite service.

Kenya migrated to digital only transmission in 2015 and there is believed to be a market for TV products in Kenya.

While a large proportion of the population do not currently have a 
TV (up to 65% in rural areas), Kenya is experiencing a digital TV boom with pay TV penetration forecast to climb from 38.2% in 2015 to 51.7% in 2021 according to a Research and Markets, Kenya Digital TV Forecasts report.

The off-grid solar market is rapidly advancing beyond just lighting and phone charging with Bloomberg Report 2016 forecasting that around 15 million households will have a solar-powered television by year 2020.