Visual Unity targets Africa in deal with Nairobi firm

Photo/File  Digital TV equipment. Global broadcasters are expected to switch to digital broadcasting from analogue system by 2015.
Photo/File Digital TV equipment. Global broadcasters are expected to switch to digital broadcasting from analogue system by 2015.  

Visual Unity system integrator and multi-screen platform provider has entered into a joint venture with Telemedia Africa to establish Visual Unity Africa.

The company, based in Nairobi, offers system integration and professional services to the local broadcast, information technology and telecommunications industry, along with specialist research and development to develop innovative mobile applications.

Visual Unity Africa is headed by Baiju Shah, Ali Hussein and Ken Kariuki, all of whom have extensive management experience in the broadcast and technology sectors.

Mr Hussein and Mr Kariuki will be based at the company’s Nairobi offices from where they will initially develop the east and central African market, with a view to expanding into other areas in the future.

The firm is eyeing the growing middle-class in Kenya and Africa in general.

The region is recognised as a hub of innovation in the broadcast and mobile applications, thanks to the high penetration of mobile devices and cheap tablet computers.

As countries switch from analogue to digital broadcasting, it is expected that a price war between main providers would result in low Internet costs.

Visual Unity managing director Tomas Petru said that Africa is ripe for expansion of broadcast and there are significant changes with a proliferation of new television stations to meet demand for local content.

“With our rich set of video and broadcast products, our extensive research and development expertise and knowledge of the linear and multi-screen systems integration, Visual Unity Africa is well placed to bridge this gap by providing high quality services and products to the emerging market,” said Mr Petru.

However, he said that what the market lacks are specialist systems integration and professional services organisations that could help broadcasters in their choice of equipment as they switch to digital television and enable them to monetising content as they embrace the growing multi-screen environment.

Mr Hussein adds that Visual Unity Africa’s combination of local links and business development expertise will give the firm an enviable lead in the market.

“Visual Unity Africa’s view of integration, along with its acquired mobile applications capability, will enable us to sell products and services to media, Telco and broadcaster organisations,” he said.

“Visual Unity Africa also has an important role to play in influencing regulatory issues and setting new regional standards.”