Santel Communications, a long time IPTV provider is launching a full-channel live streaming service for their cooperative customers in central South Dakota.
Santel General Manager Ryan Thompson says the desire of the cooperative’s board of directors is to continue providing video service for it’s members of which approximately two thousand of them subscribe to Santel’s IPTV service. Thompson related that Santel has been able to maintain video at a profitable level, and for this reason the board wanted to invest in the delivery of live streaming to future-proof the product. Another reason for the new streaming service delivery relates to aging set top boxes, and the ability to shift the customer into using their own streaming device as a replacement. Thompson stated that over the next two years having to go out physically to all those homes versus just switching customers over to their Amazon or other consumer device will be easier for the customer, and much less expensive for Santel as a company.
The new streaming service provided by MG-TV Live Streaming will also give Santel the opportunity to promote their fiber internet and move customers into higher speed packages that also includes their managed Wi-Fi service.
Thompson believes that customers needing multiple OTT services like Paramount+, Hulu, Netflix, and Disney+ have caused a lot of their cooperative members to realize that a service like SmartStream offers much of that same content on one platform, with one bill. Stockholder pressure on the national OTT providers to start making money is creating more and more parity when it comes to pricing, which according to Thompson will make their local service more price competitive.