Things are really hotting up in the video-on-demand market in South Africa. Not only did we get wind of another VoD service that will launch next week (and a couple of weeks after Naspers’ ShowMax), MTN has now decided to take the fight to other services.

Everybody knows that data cost in South Africa are pretty high, so in attempt to attract more subscribers to its FrontRow streaming service, the mobile operator took the decision to remove the data charge for subscribers.

Executive Sales and Marketing executive at MTN South Africa, Larry Annetts explained the decision in a press statement, saying: “The decision to zero-rate data usage on FrontRow is part of our strategic intent of offering a distinct customer experience and enhancing our current Video on Demand services. The zero rating of data will ensure that our customers can access the best entertainment on the move.”

Subscribers to FrontRow will now be able to stream content from six major Hollywood studios as well as selected content from BBC Worldwide for no more than the subscription fee of R119 per month.

This is good news for users that have been too afraid to stream the 2300 hours of content currently on the service due to the high cost of mobile data in South Africa.

According to Stephen Watson, Managing Director at Discover Digital, who provides the streaming service to MTN, this is a first in the South African market and goes on to say that: “[FrontRow] now brings world-class entertainment to a broader South African public, taking top TV shows and movies to South Africans who previously were unable to experience premium content, now in an affordable way.”

With the video streaming sector becoming ever more popular in South Africa as technology becomes more widespread this move from MTN is going to be hard to match, unless your name is Allan Knott-Craig Jr and you can offer Project Isizwe’s free WiFi Drive-In service.

FrontRow users will be able to stream content without incurring data charges from today.

[Image by CC 2.0 – NASA Goddard Space Flight Center]
Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.