CC image courtesy of Chris Whytehead
The startup, which will bring infrastructure and content to the edge of the network platform, will provide wireless streaming services such as YouTube and Al Jazeera as well as unlimited internet to the areas it services.
According to founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Kahenya Kamunyu the venture will encompass the establishment of close to 1,000 base stations in Kenya by the fourth quarter of 2014.
“Once we have set up the infrastructure there will not be any need for anyone to download using torrents as we will provide to you with all the latest series at least 48 hours after they have aired since we are signing deals with major channels abroad,” he said.
Kamunyu said the service will eliminate the need for pirated movies and series as the startup will provide legal copies accessible through a decoder at KSh500 (US$6) per month.
“Pirates make between 40,000 to 50,000 DVDs every month fuelled by exclusive deals between content providers and local broadcasters that do not encourage competition. In real sense pirates make more money than broadcasters,” he said.
He added this was good news for the local content providers as they will have a platform to place their content on and gain money from on a revenue share basis.
For local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) Kamunyu said research carried out by the company showed it could reduce costs by up to 83 per cent and reduce constraints on bandwidth, as many internet users burden providers by downloading music and movies.
The company is also working with local financial institutions such as Faulu to enable local youth to get funding.
Able Wireless has carried out successful pilots in the Githurai and Kikuyu areas, while it has signed deals with fibre and wireless infrastructure providers.
Already a number of local broadcasters are in talks with the company to stream their content live to audiences, as the company awaits a license from the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK).
“To recoup costs users will have to bind themselves to a 24-month contract as we are providing the decoder at a very subsidised rate,” Kamunyu said.