There are thousands of Internet service providers (ISPs) across Brazil. Many of them focus on providing inhabitants of small cities with Internet access. Their job is huge, since Brazil is more than 3.2 million square miles. However, when big—and national-level—players arrive in their cities, these very local providers can be threatened by price competition. The small ISPs usually offer only broadband access and do not have licenses to sell telephony or pay television. To meet this demand, two Brazilian companies, Algar Telecom and WDC Networks, are joining together to provide ISP pay-TV.
The operator Algar Telecom has nationwide licenses for DTH (direct-to-home) television; however, up until now, the company provided pay-TV services only in certain areas: 87 municipalities across São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso do Sul and Goiás states. Since Algar Telecom has licenses and agreements with content providers, the operator signed agreements with the telecom products distributor WDC Networks to resell television packages to ISPs across Brazil.
“We had the idea months ago. When we boost ISPs with pay-TV offers, they can better compete with big players because they can combine TV and Internet offerings,” said Vanderlei Rigatieri, general manager at WDC Networks, during a press conference at this week’s ABTA trade show and congress. “We have been looking at ISPs all over Brazil; we have relationship with about 3,000 of them, which serve about 2.5 million households from classes B, C and D. We aim to help them to increase their revenues.”
Dubbed ISPtv, the offer will allow ISPs to buy pay-TV content from WDC Networks and sell that content to their customers. ISPs will also be able to manage and built their own offers, by combing different TV content, Internet speeds and even voice over IP.
“ISPs have done a great job with the digital inclusion; now they can promote cultural inclusion,” said Rigatieri. Brazil is an enormous country, and the ISPs have made a huge effort to bring broadband Internet access to small cities.
From Algar Telecom’s perspective, the partnership will increase their nationwide reach while also increasing their content revenue. “It is a very innovative project that will add value to our company,” said Osvaldo Carrijo, the commercial director at Algar Telecom.
WDC Networks’ main focus is to resell telecom solutions including FTTH, wireless, Wi-Fi, VoIP, IP cameras, video monitoring and networking. The idea behind selling pay-TV is to help ISPs become more competitive when facing big providers, so WDC does not lose clients and can even increase telecom equipment sales. In addition, WDC will provide a set box for pay-TV and other necessary equipment.
The companies have conducted trials with three Internet service providers. Of the 3,000 ISPs that are already WDC customers, the companies expect 100 of them to become partners in this offer, which might reach up to 7,000 end users.