Vodacom wants you to pay for Netflix with airtime

Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub has revealed that the mobile operator has plans to offer video on demand (VOD) services on its network.

Speaking to media after Vodacom’s recent interim results announcement, Joosub said they are looking to partner with the likes of ShowMax and Netflix.

ShowMax launched in South Africa on 19 August 2015, while Netflix has confirmed it plans to launch locally before the end of 2016.

In addition to partnering with big brands, Joosub said Vodacom will bring its own VOD offering to the market.

He told TechCentral that Vodacom is planning to launch a fully-fledged VOD service of its own during the first half of 2016.

Netflix, ShowMax partnerships

While Vodacom hasn’t said anything about offering special data packages for its video streaming partners, Joosub did reveal the network has built a carrier billing platform.

Vodacom wants to partner with international VOD providers that launch in South Africa, and this platform will let subscribers pay for services with airtime.

Data charges can be included in the purchase price, he said.

Fees will either be deduced directly from prepaid subscribers’ airtime, or billed to the accounts of contract subscribers.

The carrier billing platform will not be limited to only VOD providers. It will be possible to buy other types of content with airtime as well.

This is not the first time Vodacom has offered carrier billing services. In 2012, it partnered with BlackBerry to let subscribers pay for apps with airtime.

Vodacom declined to comment on how the new platform will compare to the old system and how much it will cost merchants to use.

“Our Group CEO made a forward-looking statement on this,” said Vodacom.

“We will announce more details when we launch video on demand offerings in the new year. We are not in a position to provide additional information at this time.”

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Vodacom wants you to pay for Netflix with airtime