, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 6 – Zuku has partnered with a UK-based home solar systems company to launch a satellite TV package targeting households without electricity.
For a daily subscription of Sh149 paid via mobile money, Azuri Technologies and Zuku will provide a satellite dish and a solar home system that powers a 24-inch TV set, four bulbs, mobile phone charging and a rechargeable radio.
The partnership will see homes outside the power grid access 48 TV channels and 21 radio stations.
Azuri and Zuku are initially launching the bundled product in Central Kenya with a target of reaching 5 million homes when they roll out to the rest of the country in 2017.
Kenya has over 12 million households and a TV household penetration rate of 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.
Azuri Technologies CEO Simon Bransfield-Garth says Solar power has made huge strides in the last few years.
“Today we are providing a TV and service provision that would not look out of place in any major city in the world,” says Bransfield-Garth.
He said the 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.”
Zuku Satellite TV CEO Jay Chudasama said the innovative approach, will 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 offer high-quality and affordable family entertainment with emphasis on the local content,” says Chudasama.
After two years of paying the subscription, customers will own the equipment and continue to pay only for the satellite service.