Dubai firm to increase web and mobile TV offer

UAE-based content encoding company Integral is to increase the number of TV channels it offers to 150, while continuing distribution discussions with a number of regional telecommunications operators, according to Abu Dhabi newspaper The National.

Integral acquires broadcast rights for video content and then encodes it for transmission over internet protocol television (IPTV) or mobile TV. The initiative – a joint venture between Saudi Telecom (STC), All Asia Networks and Saudi Research and Marketing Group – currently provides 50 TV channels and video-on-demand services for Invision, STC’s subscription based IPTV and mobile TV service.

Now the Dubai-based company is looking further afield at other potential markets in the Middle East, and is reportedly in talks with “at least” four other telecommunications operators. Etisalat and Du already provide IPTV services in the UAE. However, Karim Daoud, chief executive of Integral, told the National: “Smaller countries just around us here – be it Bahrain, be it Kuwait, be it Qatar – might find significant interest in our value proposition.”

The company’s vice president of corporate affairs and general counsel, Ismaeel Makdisi, also told the newspaper that this year his company will triple the number of channels it offers. Currently these include popular regional properties such as Al Jazeera Sports, and channels from Orbit Showtime Network (OSN) and MBC.

“It’s not just the number of channels, it’s also the quality of channels,” Mr Makdisi told The National. “We’re highlighting the importance of HD quality, for example.”

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