Sunday, July 3, 2022 12:00 pm
Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) Technology was launched on June 28, 2022, by LGC Media Limited. The event also witness the presentation of Hol Greenfield Nigeria Limited to the public as LGC IPTV STB National dealer. It took place at the event hall of Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry CDM 10, Dr Nurudeen Olowopopo Way Drive, Alausa Ikeja-Lagos.
Internet protocol television (IPTV) is a technology that brings over 1000 channels including live sports, exciting sporting events and the hottest movies. More than ever IPTV, according to the company, is “becoming more popular as users liberate themselves from the expensive limited deals offered by cable providers.” On 31 March 2022 IPTV was launched at Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja, the nation’s capital by the Nigerians in Diaspora Leadership and Governance Canada Inc. (LGC).
In this interview with TheNEWS, Sam Adewale, the Chief Operating Officer, LGC, Emmanuel Ojo Akhigbe-Age, CEO, HoL Greenfield, the national dealer, and BS Channi, of Fnik Media, explain the features of the product and the advantages to Nigerian subscribers.
Your firm unveiled the Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) on 28th June. Were you satisfied with the turnout?
Sam Adewale: It went very well and it was well attended. They included pressmen, guests, launchers, and chief launchers, and even they went to the extent of having a cultural display at the event. It was successful.
Is Hol Greenfield Nigeria the sole dealer in Nigeria or do you have others that work with you?
Akhigbe-Agge: Hol Greenfield Nigeria Limited is the national dealer in Nigeria. The company has appointed dealers and we also will welcome dealers. We have appointed zonal dealers, we are talking about the entire zones, and we are willing to appoint more from zones up to local governments.
How does the device work? I learnt that you bring 1,000 channels together. So, explain these technicalities
Yes. This device is perfect. For now, it is the device to beat. It is a perfect one with dedicated channels. If you go to the existing TVs or Cable TVs now, you want to watch sports, it is what the TV provides that you will watch. However, with IPTV, when you want to watch sports, it provides you with dedicated lines, you may wish to watch football, boxing, long tennis, table tennis, or rugby, so you go there and make your choice. And they are live channels. They are not recorded programmes. And you have all football programs from premiership to La Liga. They have dedicated channels even Clubs like Chelsea, and Arsenal, channels.
But it is not all about sports
No. There are movies and news channels. There are two CNN channels. The one that is broadcast live from the US because most channels we watch here are six hours ahead. So, we (IPTV) have CNN Live.
Apart from these things that you have mentioned what other features make IPTV unique?
It is weather friendly. When you put it on, it is very clear, nothing disturbs it. When you buy it, it is self-installed, everything is plug and play. We did a survey on the market for the Nigeria environment for four years. They want to know what happened to previous efforts and why they failed.
Many companies brought devices, they rose and fizzled out. Are you telling Nigerians that IPTV will not end in the scrap heap?
Yes. The company did research. Upon research, when for example Anthony Joshua was having his boxing competition, it was IPTV that streamed it, we watched it live in Nigeria when the research was on. IPTV has been in Nigeria since 2017 but they didn’t unveil because they were researching, they were studying the market and how to cross the hurdles and that’s why they came up with Internet Protocol Television, that nothing could disturb or obstruct. With this, it is perfect, that was why having watched it for two years, 2020 to 2021, it was unveiled. Of course, if you marry a woman for one year, you know the character, that is why since 2017 we studied the market and felt it was ready for use and here we are. It was launched in March this year in Abuja. This product has been certified by the Standard Organisation of Nigeria.
What of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria?
Sam Adewale: We have the licences. The Abuja launch was chaired by the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, and other guest speakers.
Could you say in confidence now that this one has come to stay, unlike the previous ones?
Sam Adewale: It has come to stay. It will also help a lot of people who want to watch TV to relax properly. The thing is that this is the future, technology is the future, and satellite has been saturated, so what happens now is the technology and that’s why every decision they make in Nigeria now is on social media. If it was something like seven years ago, in the case of Ekweremmadu, nobody would hear about then, so before they spit, social media is all over it and this is where we come in, it is of the future, nothing can stop it.
Will it be by subscription? If so, is it affordable?
Akhigbe-Agge: Yes. It comes with a one-month subscription, after which you then pay N5000 every month and that gives you access to everything. You use your internet. For example, I have about seven laptops that are working and people have phones, and the IPTV is up. I pay N20,000 monthly; it is very cheap, it is not for everybody, it is for those who have internet service. If you want to enjoy it, just get the internet.
Sam Adewale: Do you know that Microsoft is coming to Nigeria with the internet? It is a large market. Everywhere you go now in Lagos, for example, internet fibre is being laid. With that, the cost of internet usage comes down. Now, this is where we come in-IPTV with cheap internet.
Professionally, I don’t like to mention brands, some existing brands. If I subscribe now and I happen to travel without using it, and if I come back after one month, that subscription has ended, does it apply to yours?
Yes. It is for that month, but the advantage is this when you subscribe in January and you go on vacation by February, when you come back in March, you pay, put it on then you continue. You don’t pay for what you don’t use.
Akhigbe-Agge: You need to inform us that you will not be around. The device knows whether or not you use it.
How far have you gone in developing retail outlets?
We are working on it, we unveiled it on the 28th of June and we are working on it, we are in the market.
I read that LGC in infrastructure. Kindly expatiate
Sam Adewale: Everybody relies on foreign companies, before. You operate here and maybe your provider is in Hong Kong! What we have done in LGC is that we built our infrastructure to the extent, that building an IPT infrastructure in Nigeria is already tough, with logistics and no regular light. If the light goes off a second it shuts down all the system by the time the light comes, it has to start rebooting all over again. Now if you are a client and live in Lekki, your light didn’t go and our infrastructure is in Magodo and the light goes which means the whole system is shut down. So people in Lekki who subscribed will not enjoy it because the system shut down in Magodo. The whole set of infrastructure is not sited in Nigeria but we have our network system set up in Nigeria so that we can get the feed going on, but the one set up in Nigeria if the light blinks it cannot affect the one in …..
Where is the main one located? In Canada?
Sam Adewale: I wouldn’t tell you where it is. It might be in the Benin Republic or Togo, we have uninterrupted services but we invested heavily in infrastructure. We have an office here with a lot of networking, devices installed in Nigeria.
What are the immediate challenges you are facing and how are you overcoming them?
Akhigbe-Agge: Power (electricity), really affects us but the good thing is that when there is a power outage, if you are enjoying it and there is an outage, just put the device in your pocket and go where there is light to watch it.
Sam Adewale: You can use the Wi-Fi, you put it on, put it in your pocket and enjoy the program on your phone. If you are going to work in the morning and you know Chelsea is playing by noon, just put it in your pocket, go to work and connect it and you are watching. But one thing we are working on is trying to bring the internet data down, we are trying to work with all these firms, glo, mtn, airtel, all of them to come as a body and bring the cost of internet down for the average Nigerian to enjoy, which means we are now the mouthpiece of the average Nigerian.
What are your plans for expansion?
Akhigbe-Agge: We are spreading to other parts of western countries because IPTV is not in all countries.
Sam Adewale: We have seen people that bought it and took it to the UK and it worked ell, uninterrupted light. It empowers people, businesses and even for educational purposes.
Has the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) given any certification
Yes. We have. They presented us with a certificate.
IPTV is not a known brand, what are your plans to make it a household name?
Akhigbe-Agge: That’s where we are going and that is media are important. What is important is the person behind the product, we are consistent people. We have put up motion in progress to push it to every house, that is why subscription is very cheap compared to what is offered and the product is high standard.
Ans: The cost of the box is N70,000, compared to some products sold for over 70,000. Our subscription is N5000 and you access programs. Others charge as much as N20,000 but with ours, you can access all, with N5,000. We have over 4,000 movies.
Sam Adewale: Nigerians are used to Zeeworld. Our version of Zeeworld is ahead of the one shown in Nigeria.
What is your message to Nigerians and potential buyers?
My message to Nigerians is to take advantage of this product because it will empower them, provide job opportunities, and provide real entertainment. After all, it is a wonder box. Just put it in your pocket. It is local content, the manufacturers are Nigerians, so local content should be patronized to encourage the Nigerian economy. All distributors are Nigerians. It is at a low cost, so the product should be encouraged. With IPTV you will have all Nigerian channels. We are working with NTA to have all their channels in the box. It is the dream of AGC.
Tell us the nature of the relationship between LGC/IPTV
BS Channi: We are the technical partner. That is Fnik media (which has been in business for over 25 years), based in Europe.