PHILIPSBURG–Consumers in St. Maarten now have another option when it comes to their television viewing options.
TelEm Group on Monday launched its new Internet protocol television (IPTV) service Tel-TV featuring 60 channels of movies, soaps, sports, news, music and other fun programming, with special introductory offers to customers.
Tel-TV is the first IPTV service to be made commercially available to St. Maarten customers in all parts of the island. TelEm said it is setting the ball rolling with 60 channels, but plans to add more as they become available. Future plans also include, special feature channels, upgraded local programming and superior quality high definition (HD) TV.
TelEm Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kendall Dupersoy said 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 fibre. With the fibre rollout in full swing, TelEm will offer greater bandwidth and addition features,” said Dupersoy.
He said these are still early days 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 in St. Maarten. Having a local channel is essential to locals and we fully intend to continue to develop this service,” Dupersoy added.
He said the new Tel-TV service has been many months in the making and was practically ready to be launched when Hurricane Irma struck. Staff was tasked with picking up the pieces and moving 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,” Dupersoy said.
The company will be running the lines to one location in the homes of consumers similar to what used to be done for the former Cable TV service. In the future, the company plans to offer packages where consumers can access Tel-TV via their WiFi network.
TelEm Group Marketing and Sales Manager Grisha Heyliger-Marten said 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 US $25 per month, they can become Triple-Play customers with their own TV package,” she said.
The introductory price for Duo-Play customers comes with a saving of $10 off their 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-megabyte and 16MB packages for service via a copper line and 25-50MB for customers with access to the company’s brand-new fibre-optic network with speeds of 25-50MB.
Customers interested in the service and learning more about prices have been able to see the channels for themselves as of Monday via a demonstration of the new service in the lobby of the main TelEm Group building on Pond Island. All the comforts of home viewing of Tel-TV are recreated in a special demo-display. The public could have seen the channels and enjoyed a complimentary bag of popcorn.
“We are looking to make a small but significant start in getting customers used to Tel-TV 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,” Heyliger-Marten said.
The reduced-price specials began on Monday and will continue for three months, after which time all charges will return to the regular price. TelEm Group said 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 background of a lot of the programming on the IPTV scene. The draw for the super prize will be made at the end of the promotion in three months.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/86656-telem-launches-tel-tv-iptv-with-channel-demo