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AfricaCOM 2022: Taking the Pulse of Africa's Digital Transformation

28/11/2022

2022 will forever be the year that in-person events got back on their feet after two years in hibernation. As we've seen at all the events NAGRA has attended this year, the overwhelming desire to reconnect with colleagues and friends has been responsible for getting us all together again. The recent AfricaCOM expo, the flagship event of Africa's Tech Festival in Cape Town certainly supported this theory with our stand team reporting an atmosphere of curiosity and vibrancy that brought an unmistakably African vibe to proceedings.

Engaging with our stand visitors, we were struck by how keen everyone one was to get delayed projects moving again and learn how the challenges of a digital landscape so broad and diverse as Africa can be met with today's solutions. It was also great to reconnect with key partners to discuss the latest trends and review the projects we're jointly working on across Africa.

At our stand we ranged a number of solutions designed to respond to the questions of our visitors.

Hybrid OTT Streaming

Our Hybrid OTT streaming solutions showed the range of advanced features that can now be deployed quickly and simply onto retail-available hardware such as an Android TV set-top box. Powered by the NAGRA OpenTV Video Platform, our hybrid streaming solutions are used the world over by organizations looking to offer aggregated solutions driven by the great rebundling'. These solutions help operators deliver greater value by providing their subscribers with access to all the content they love via one central app - irrespective of the content's source or originating service. Our customer case studies of Starhub in Singapore and Claro in Colombia - who also added direct billing for Netflix to their service, attracted a lot of interest as new strategies and approaches were considered.

Direct-To-TV

For a continent where direct-to-TV solutions enjoy considerable success, we had a lot of discussions not only about our conditional access module (CAM) solutions but also our innovative TVkey solution which NAGRA created with Samsung. Deployed by HD+ in Ghana, it allows operators to tap into new distribution channels such as electrical retail and acquire subscribers through tantalizing offers as part of a new TV purchase. Also offering the ability to offer an identical user experience to that seen on a set-top box with the operator's brand front and center, there was a lot of discussion about how this can help address the challenges associated with reducing the cost to serve while still offering highly secure premium 4K content.

Protecting Revenues from Piracy

For those visitors who had already launched streaming propositions, there were a lot of conversations about how, as they rollout more premium content, the challenges get magnified as richer pickings are spotted by pirates. Themes such as CDN content theft, credential sharing and app protection were all discussed at length. The NAGRA Active Streaming Protection framework is designed to address the threats posed by streaming piracy. Featuring several different options and technologies, it aims, through a central security monitoring and analytics dashboard, to provide a clear, end-to-end view of the challenges facing the network. For today's streaming providers, multi-DRM isn't enough, and the distributed nature of OTT delivery means there are several aspects that need to be holistically considered to gain a true picture of the streaming piracy threat.

Growing Cybersecurity Threats

Our increasingly connected lifestyles mean that the attack surface area we expose to cyber criminals is considerable. But if you multiply that up and consider the surface area that operators are having to defend, the size of the challenge (and threat) is even larger. Add to this the dependency on the cloud and increasingly digital interactions with consumers and the shape of the new landscape is clear. For several operators that don't have in-house cyber teams, this is a daunting prospect and so our teams were happy to discuss how our holistic cyber protection solutions offer not only a focus on anti-piracy but also cybersecurity services such as incident response. These solutions focus on proactive approaches although when a reaction is necessary, our cyber fusion center teams respond instantly.

The team had a great time at AfricaCOM and as my colleague Mlu Mhlungu said, It's just great to be back chatting with people face to face and learning how we can help them continue to be successful. Our South Africa based team are looking forward to continuing the conversations started at AfricaCOM and are also excited to be moving to a new office in Cape Town in the New Year - if you're in the area, get in touch and we'll get the coffee on!
LINK: https://dtv.nagra.com/africacom-2022-taking-pulse-africas-digital-tran...
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