Based on a number of courses I’ve given in the region over the past year on Hybrid TV, OTT (Over the Top) TV, IPTV, SDP (Service Deliver Platform) and IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) I think the market has ignored the potential of Africa as it transitions to digital TV through 2011/2012. A new conference has been created to correct this over-sight, “Broadcast, Interactive, Internet and Hybrid TV in Africa (TVA): Conference and Exhibition” (4-8 July 2011 at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Africa is a unique and under-served market with respect to TV, with a population of over 1 billion and most probably the fastest growing Digital TV market in the world for the next decade. In the previous decade Africa was the fastest growing mobile market, and recently reached 500M subscribers. Digital TV is about to repeat this achievement as international investment, government stimulus, rising prosperity, the analogue to digital TV transition, and global demand for African resources maintain the region’s 5% annual growth. The time is now to become part of the African TV ecosystem, else miss one of the last high growth markets in the world.
The objectives of this event are to bring together the global TV and Telecom industries with a specific focus on the unique African market to understand how the digital and interactive TV revolution will create both growth and new opportunities. Just like mobile banking and telemedicine emerged from Africa, new and unique digital and interactive TV services will also emerge from this region given its unique situation. Without a specific focus and involvement in Africa, suppliers cannot be relevant nor harness the emergent opportunities.
The conference structure will be:
- 1 day pre-conference workshop “Evolution of TV Delivery: IPTV, Hybrid and OTT TV”
- 2 day conference (high quality single stream conference to ensure attendees gather all information from independent experts and industry leaders)
- In parallel a 2 day exhibition for attendees to meet local and global suppliers and discuss their specific opportunities, needs and opportunities.
- 1 day post-conference workshop “Content Delivery Networks”
- Digital Terrestrial TV: understanding the African DTT opportunity, its regulation, and requirements as analogue turns off across the continent;
- IPTV and Over The Top (internet) TV: understanding the local broadband markets to maximize the addressable market and margin;
- TV over low capacity access: understanding how TV can be delivered through wireless network and other low capacity access through the use of push TV services and local storage;
- Hybrid TV (satellite and internet, DTT (Digital Terrestrial TV) and internet, DTT and IPTV): the fastest growing digital TV delivery method, understanding the unique role wireless networks and push services, in addition to broadband, will play for interactivity in Africa;
- Content Delivery Networks: understanding the critical enabling technology for OTT (internet) TV and Hybrid Broadcast Internet TV (provided by most Satellite operators);
- Africa’s Regulations: understanding the specific local initiatives and subtleties from the local experts;
- Learning from around the world: bringing together experiences from around the world in interactivity, content delivery, business models, applications and widgets, then adapting to the African market;
- African Innovation: a chance to meet the African entrepreneurs creating Africa-centric innovations that can then spread across the world, c.f. mobile banking and telemedicine in mobile;
- TV on devices other than the TV (Multi-screen TV): mobile phones are the dominate internet access device in the region, mobile coverage far exceeds broadband coverage in the region, the relationship will be quite different to other markets, perhaps Africa will leapfrog to quad-play rather than triple-play;
- 3D and beyond: The African market is one of the most heterogeneous markets in the world; 3D, Apple TV, Google TV and many other innovations are as relevant here as in Western Europe and North America.