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LIME to roll out more TV services

Published:Sunday | December 18, 2011 | 12:00 AM

Telecommunications provider LIME continues its move to enhance services offered within Jamaica and the wider region, its latest initiative aimed at delivering television services and video on-demand content throughout the Caribbean.

Last week, it announced that it has secured a deal with Juniper Networks, a United States-based technology innovation firm, to provide the company with a software system, 'Media Flow Controller', that delivers content for video and multi-screen television services.

The local telecoms giant did not disclose how much it would cost the company to acquire the software, but said it would be the first to launch such multi-screen services.

The service is expected to be fully deployed initially in Barbados and Jamaica by early 2012. Expansion into other Caribbean islands is expected to follow later in the year.

130 television channels

The new service will use adaptive bitrate streaming to deliver up to 130 television channels over subscribers' broadband Internet connections.

LIME said it would use the Media Flow Controller software to cache, distribute and deliver content for maximum efficiency and viewing experience.

The launch of the new service comes on the heels of a deal LIME signed less than a month ago with the CARICOM secretariat to provide video-conferencing equipment and services to Jamaica and seven other member countries as well as five other territories in the region.

Earlier this year, the company said it would be offering video-conferencing solutions to the public, including corporate, enterprise and government organisations.

LIME competes with rivals Flow Jamaica and Digicel, which have also been active in the marketplace ramping up services.

Flow has announced intentions to launch four new products, including three-dimensional or 3D television as early as 2012.

The company also said it was working on "an exciting TV product" that allows subscribers to receive Flow cable on any device, including iPad, smartphone, personal computer or laptop.

Flow Jamaica, a subsidiary of Columbus Communication, said it will also roll out personal video recording in the clouds, allowing browsers to view Internet sites such as Facebook and Youtube on their TV sets.

LIME has also been active over the last year building a range of new products and services, even as the company continues to reflect a net-loss position, according to its financial statements.

For the quarter ended September 30, 2011, LIME reported a net loss of $1.3 billion, which includes a $197-million expense incurred for staff costs rationalisation activity during the period, as the company looks for ways to save and bring more efficiencies to the organisation.

However, Lime's managing director, Garfield Sinclair, still remains upbeat with the company's performance and achievements, which includes new product initiatives such as the launch of a low- cost laptop, branded 'Fliptop'.

Fliptop, the company said, will be used to drive Internet penetration. It also added new content to its mobile TV, which saw the launch of its own channel 'Peppa TV'.

With an increase in its post-paid mobile service and subscriber base, LIME posted an 11 per cent increase in overall mobile services revenue at the end of September.