Solar-Powered Satellite TV

Azuri Technologies Provides Rural Households With Solar Powered Satellite TVs That Showcase Channels From Star Times And Zuku

Solar powered satellite TVs are expanding the size of Africa’s TV audiences and gaining new viewers in previously unserviced rural areas.
In a recent interview the CEO of Azuri Technologies, Simon Bransfield-Garth discussed his company’s current focus on providing rural households with solar-powered satellite TV.

In as recently as 2017, Azuri Technologies only had customers in “the hundreds”. Now it is selling solar powered TV in three African countries (Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda) and has sold tens of thousands of TV sets. Paygo (Pay-as-you-go) is challenging when it comes to distribution, and it’s different with TV because an operator needs to build up a network of installers.

Bransfield-Garth said that despite these challenges, he had been pleasantly surprised by the level of support that the solar TVs have received.
 He added that television had turned out to be an essential thing for low-income, off-grid households who are happy to get low-cost access to information, news and entertainment.

Users have a choice of content bundles between Zuku and Star Times. Both have similar packages. There are 20 radio channels and 60 TV channels. The content differs from one country to the next, but there is also a selection of international and national TV channels all at the cost of US$1 a day.

The users are small-scale farmers but who are slightly better off. Bransfield-Garth said that people often club together to purchase a TV system and then continue to pay for it as a group.

When asked if the customers keep up their payments, the CEO replied that people have intermittent breaks because of the unstable pattern of their incomes on the farms. However, Bransfield-Garth insisted that the pattern of the regularity of payments was far better than that of payments for electricity. He figured that this was because, with energy, one can always do something else, but there is no alternative for TV.

Zambia will be the next country to receive the solar-powered TV product.

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