SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – TelEm Group’s new IPTV service TEL-TV, hit the road Monday with special introductory offers to customers and featuring 60 channels of Movies, Soaps, Sports, News, Music and other fun programming.
TEL-TV is the first Internet Protocol (IP) television service to be made commercially available to St. Maarten customers in all parts of the island.
The company is setting the ball rolling with 60 channels but plan to add more as they become available.
Future plans also include, special feature channels, upgraded local programming and superior quality HD TV.
According to TelEm Group, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Kendall Dupersoy, TEL-TV is the company’s replacement of Cable TV services, that were almost decimated by Hurricane Irma in 2017.
“We have continued to provide Cable TV services to customers wherever the network is still intact, but even in these areas, our plan is to go over to IPTV, which is provided over both copper and fiber. With the fiber rollout in full swing, TelEm will offer greater bandwidth and addition features,” said Mr. Dupersoy.
He said these are still early day in the TV business for TelEm Group, whose core business is mobile and fixed voice and data services, however, personnel involved with the IPTV project are learning new things every day and he fully expects the service to grow from strength to strength, especially where it concerns negotiations with third parties for greater channel selections to suit the diverse St. Maarten culture and community.
“I truly envision growth in the regional tele-viewing sector, with the possibility of building up our local Channel 15 into a channel that caters to all the Caribbean nationals living on St. Maarten. Having a local channel is essential to locals and we fully intend to continue to develop this service,” continued the CEO, Mr. Dupersoy.
The TelEm Group chief says the new TEL-TV service has been many months in the making and was practically ready to be launch when Hurricane Irma struck. Staff was tasked with picking up the pieces and move on.
“Various teams, and outside vendors have been assisting and I want to thank everyone involved for taking us to this stage and strongly urge them to continue to build on what they have, to take TEL-TV to the next stage of its development,” added Mr. Dupersoy.
Meantime, TelEm Group Manager, Marketing & Sales, Mrs. Grisha Heyliger, says TEL-TV is being launched as a Triple-Play package offering customers, three services all in one package – Internet, Phone and TV.
“The new TV service is an add-on to customers who already have our “Duo-Play packing of Internet and Phone for an additional $25 per month, they can become Triple-Play customers with their own TV package,” said Grisha.
She says the introductory price for Duo-Play customers comes with a saving of $10 off the monthly subscription fee for the first three months, plus delivery of a first TEL-TV box completely free of charge. Customers who want to take up the Triple Play package from scratch can do so for a monthly charge of $110 including a $10 introductory discount.
The TV part of the Triple-Play package comes in 12 MB and 16MB packages for service via a copper line and 25MB – 50MB for customers with access to the company’s brand new Fiber Optic network with speeds of 25MB – 50 MB.
Grisha says from Monday, customers interested in the service and learning more about prices will be able to see the channels for themselves via a demonstration of the new service in the lobby of the main TelEm Group building on Pond Island.
“We are looking to make a small but significant start in getting customers used to TELTV and all that it has to offer. We are very excited that after months of installation, testing and fine-tuning we can finally start offering service to the public,” continued Grisha.
She said the reduced-price specials start Monday and will continue for three months, after which time all charges will return to the regular price.
TelEm Group says all customers who sign up for the new Triple Play package, that includes TEL-TV, will have a chance to win an all-expenses trip for two to New York, the backdrop of a lot of the programming on the IPTV scene.
The draft for the super prize will be made at the end of the promotion in three months’ time.