Friday, April 21, 2017

Busy, 4G LTE provider of the year has relaunched its brand with a new focus and commitment towards empowering Ghanaian youth and entrepreneurs.


With the brand relaunch, Busy is taking its vision and commitment a notch higher by focusing on the youth and leveraging on advanced technology to empower the youth and young professionals to realize their dream.


With a new tag line, Great Things Happen, Busy’s new outlook will also connect the new busy 4G back to its heritage as an ISP that offers the hub for young and up-coming entrepreneurs to connect to the world, develop business plans, network and kick-start their dreams.


Chief Executive Officer of Busy Praveen Sadalege, says “Busy is launching this new brand with a focus on digital first and with the introduction of mobile digital platform such as My Busy Mobile, an interactive platform that allows customers to track their data usage, top up data, bundle data and control their data usage.

George Andah,  Minister for Communications
There is also the Web self-care app which allows customers to interact with busy but on their laptops or desktop”, he said. According to Mr Sadalege, the new focus on youth and young professionals stems from Busy’s commitment to ensure that its advanced technology are maximised to contribute extensively in meeting their aspirations.


“When we launched our three-pronged youth strategy with the unveiling of our JUMP platform at the end of last month, it was to signify our intentions to operate in a space where the majority of Ghana’s population are and to offer them an incredible access to materials that will inure to their professional and individual growth, this relaunch further accentuates that initial commitment”, the CEO added.
Chief Marketing Officer of Busy, Michael Fitzgerald disclosed at the launch in Accra that Busy will also be launching a new mobile interactive app known as Chat+. This will be free for all busy customers as it will allow them to chat, call, share pictures, videos, etc with friends and loved ones. Businesses will also be able to use Chat+ in the same way Closed User Groups (CUG) are deployed to cut down on expenses and use as customer service channel to engage and interact with their clients.


Michael Fitzgerald added that “in line with this view vision, Busy, is also rolling out several innovative products and services. Such as the “3 paddies” – here customers are to recommend a minimum of 3 friends. When any of these three friend join Busy, the person who did the recommendation will receive free data and these new friends who just joined Busy, will get to buy the Busy starter pack at a very discounted rate which will come with a lifetime offer”.


Busy recently launched the JUMP online interactive portal with 4 content on education, entrepreneurship, lifestyle and self-improvement category to empower the youth; while offering fresh graduates internship opportunities with a chance for full term employment.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Digital television -an innovative approach to television broadcasting- has many benefits available to countries that adopt it. This piece seeks to share insights into four major benefits serving viewers, broadcasters, producers and advertisers respectively.

VIEWERS

IMPROVED VIDEO QUALITY AND CLARITY:  There is no doubt that digital TV comes along with improved picture and video quality. Signals are more compact than the analogue system and allows multiple channels to occupy the same airspace than the single analogue channel. Digital television will provide viewers with the quality of sound, images and videos needed to enjoy quality television experience.

With digital TV, one does not need to re-adjust an antenna as usually directed by local TV technicians as first stage in television signal troubleshooting.  One does not have to direct an antenna towards the transmission site of a particular station to get clear signals at the expense of other stations. A viewer has to simply turn on a TV with an antenna and enjoy quality TV with crystal clear pictures and sound.


BROADCASTERS

LESS FOCUS ON TRANSMISSION INFRASTRUCTURE: Television stations in Ghana compete not only on content but on infrastructure; an opposite of industry trends in other parts of the world where competition is strictly on content because infrastructure is standard for all players. Ghana’s era of television stations with tag lines such as “nationwide availability, total coverage etc. will be over with digitization.

Statistics at Brekuso- Ghana’s popular TV transmission site for most stations in Accra show that about 7 television transmission sites operate within 2km apart from each other.  All these stations have 24/7 security, standby power generators, water storage, mast, technicians, transmission halls and other important assets. Couldn’t a strategic and cost saving approach such as co-locating and sharing the running cost of the sites be adopted to ensure that the little revenue made from advertising due to the clustered nature of the industry is invested in content and staff remuneration rather than transmission?

In South Africa, television stations have no business with transmission because a reliable and professional firm maintains and manages their sites on contract basis. Ahwerase, a town in Ghana’s Eastern region noted for radio transmission has a similar case like that of Brekuso. There are about 10 radio operating sites within 1km radius apart from each other. Some local broadcasters are adamant to co-locate because of fear of sabotage by competitors. But I believe with the right systems and processes, such fears can be eliminated and co-location managed professionally by independent service providers with expected deliverables.



PRODUCERS

CONTENT DEVELOPMENT: With an equal playing field, television owners have no option than to compete on content. Digitization attracts broadcasting regulations such as prioritizing local content over foreign content and ensuring that prime time is dedicated to local content. This will improve the state and quality of Ghana’s production industry.

Production divisions of television stations, independent production firms and other sections of the production chain will benefit from this. Digitization guarantees the creation of jobs in the production chain ranging from producers, directors, actors, cameramen, props, location drivers, graphics and effects, editors, sales and editing.

It also guarantees massive development of our local movie and production industry. ‘Kumawood’, ‘Ghallywood’ and other private producers are at an advantage because there will be reliance on what they produce. Ghana’s National Film and Television Institute graduates and graduates from other production training institutions will be put to good use.

ADVERTISERS 

ACCESS TO CREDIBLE TV VIEWERSHIP DATA: Strategic advertising and marketing decisions on television should be made on credible viewership data. Even though professional media research is gradually gaining grounds in Ghana, marketing managers of some brands make decisions on guts and personal orientation with no accurate data supporting such decisions.

In the past, media owners have accused media research firms of skewing data and results in favour of the highest bidder. Though such claims may not be factual, digitization affords the industry a cheaper and more reliable way of knowing viewership ratings of stations across specific times. It also affords credible data on television viewership necessary for national policy and decision making.

If managed properly, television license collection can be enhanced and improved with higher collection rates.
Telemetry -an automated communications process by which measurements and other data are collected- can be used to provide viewership ratings in real time. Similar to the publication of subscriber base in Ghana’s telecommunications industry, publishing viewership of television stations from an authoritative source such as a national platform would improve television competition among industry players and serve as a trusted source of data.

It is unfortunate that time-lines set by the Government of Ghana to migrate all television stations unto the digital platform were missed last year. Discomfort and hesitation accompanies change efforts but we must embrace this innovative change in our broadcasting industry to benefit from its numerous advantages. The Ministry of Communications, National Communications Authority and other State institutions mandated to ensure television digitization is actualized must commit to this good and critical cause.

By: Timothy Karikari
timothykarikari@yahoo.com

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I am a Creative Arts Writer who is also into Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Photography and IT consultancy. I am also Social media enthusiast and an alumni of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).

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