FLOW Jamaica will be launching a slew of products by the First Quarter of 2012AD, namely:
- 300Mbps Broadband Internet speeds
- 3D HDTV Cable TV packages made possible by this speed increase
- A TV-Anywhere Concept akin to Comcast XFinity 1GBps product
- Cloud-Based Video Services, similar to Digicel as per my article “Digicel’s Cloud Backup Services – A deep Analysis”.
Apparently the fear of Netflix, slated to come to Latin America and Jamaica by the Fourth Quarter of 2011AD has driven them to change their original plan of offering just HDTV bundles alone, as this was never practical.
Neither is 3D HDTV, but at least it won’t be ineffective as the uptake in HDTV channels, as Jamaican have little appreciation for HDTV picture quality, merely seeing such Television sets as “bling”. Plus, 3D HDTV uptake is slated to be on the rise as per my article 3D HDTV – Next Big Thing or Next Big Niche.
Especially as Apple may be planning to come out with one, as again speculated in my article Web-enabled Television Sets Sales Rise – The Apple Television cometh.
This announcement of 3D HDTV from FLOW, to come on stream in the Fourth Quarter of 2011AD, is just in time for London Olympics 2012 in July 27th 2012AD. FLOW had for some time been dropping hints about their problems with uptake of their pricey product offerings due to their frequent advertising on Television Jamaica and CVM TV of their Cable Packages, an oddity in the Cable TV world.
Sure, they are high end, but to pay more than JA$700 for channels whose content are out of date with that of the Local (albeit illegal) Cable Providers does indeed appear to be much of a deal.
Throw in the threat of cord cutting, possibly noticed by FLOW due to current subscribers possibly opting to have Internet Only Packages with DVD and Blu-Ray Piracy and FLOW’s erratic actions appear to have relevance. They are facing the same perceived threats as Palace Amusement, who are also going 3D at all their theatres!
Netflix, coasting at a decent US$7.99 thirty (30) day unlimited subscription model, will eat FLOW for lunch. Especially as an IPTV licensing courtesy of the Broadcasting Commission would afford them the irony of protection from Bandwidth Throttling from FLOW and other Wireless Broadband Providers, such as the recently expanding Digicel. Whilst the BCJ issued a call for interested Parties to apply for IPTV licences, no licence has been issued.
Thus customers with Internet enabled TV’s, also on the rise as per my article Web-enabled Television Sets Sales Rise – The Apple Television cometh or IPTV set top boxes such as the Boxee Box, the Roku Box or the Apple iTV in North America opt to stream.
Netflix’s ambitions are obvious: rule the IPTV world.
Some quick stats from Strategy Analytics:
- 84% of theUSmarket is Cable TV and Triple Play Provider’s as of the Fourth Quarter of 2009AD
- Netflix had two million four hundred thousand (2,400,000) paying customers as of the Fourth Quarter of 2009AD
- Netflix added another six million four hundred thousand (6,400,000) subscribers by the Fourth Quarter of 2010AD
Netflix is now the 3rd Largest Cable Provider in the market with eighteen million three hundred thousand (18,300,000) subscribers, with Comcast and Satellite TV Provider DirecTV are 1st and 2nd respectively. Note: Netflix is an IPTV company and when numbers are compared, Netflix is using Broadband Internet to beat Subscription Cable and Satellite at their own Game!
Comcast in the USA, at whose door Death is already knocking, has launched a 1Gbps Broadband Internet Service named XFinity. FLOW’s Fantastic four (4) new services are a follow-on, West Indies Cricket style, of Comcast, who is still not out in the Subscriber Cable Game.
FLOW themselves may soon be staring Death in the face, if this latest strategy does not help them to hold on to customers, as many may be opting for Internet Only packages and just “go with the FLOW”!
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