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MultiChoice targets gated communities with Smart Village buy

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MultiChoice South Africa has acquired a controlling stake in Smart Village in order to broaden its core DSTV offerings using next generation networks.

Smart Village is a multi-play service provider, offering a converged multimedia service to multi-dwelling units, retail and gated communities.
Established in 2004, Smart Village provides a converged services solution to homes and businesses in gated communities, over fibre optic networks, offering:
* Voice – high quality voice services, including VoIP and least cost routing;
* Video – video-on-demand, IPTV and centralised TV distribution;
* Broadband Internet access; and
* Integrated control systems such as security, electricity and water metering.
Nolo Letele, CEO of MultiChoice South Africa, says: "The investment in Smart Village will enable us to create the first true multi-play operator in South Africa, which will offer exciting  bundled services to consumers in estates. Our DStv channels and video-on-demand content will add significant value to the Smart Village offering."
Smart Village is the only operator currently able to provide a converged services solution via a single access point to gated communities and mixed-use estates.
It operates in mixed-use estates in Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, with more than 1 000 homes and businesses already connected.
Smart Village's business model requires home and business-owners to pay a basic service fee for converged services, as well as a usage fee for services such as DStv via IPTV, video-on-demand and voice over IP.
It also offers the option of an estate intranet, where residents can book golf or other sports facilities, view estate information and events, order fast food and make use of virtual ISP services.
Chris van der Walt, MD of Smart Village, says the opportunities provided by the new EC Act together with the capital investment made available by Multichoice, would enable the company to grow its service offering.
"Our open access model with a single backbone and platform enables developers to offer each resident or business an integrated media, telecommunications and security solution," he says. "Our partnership with the Multichoice Group brings with it a number of synergies that will enable Smart Village to reach its full potential. We are very optimistic about the future opportunities that this investment brings."