Vivo said this week that satellite TV subscribers will be terminated by December 2022. Initially, the operator did not provide any alternatives, and anybody who wished to stay with pay TV was advised to switch to a rival. Tele now tells people who are still using DTH technology that they will be converted to IPTV through optical fibre or OTT (streaming) service.
Vivo’s DTH activity is now fairly quiet: in March, the operator had 168,400 satellite contracts, according to Anatel statistics. This accounts for just 15.8 percent of its pay TV clients, since the vast majority are already on fibre optic IPTV.
The majority of Vivo’s DTH clients are in So Paulo. In the other states, the service was only available in places where GVT provided fixed services through the copper network, as opposed to other satellite carriers such as Claro, Oi, and Sky, which sold over the whole country.
Vivo stopped selling new DTH pay-TV subscriptions a few years ago, but the service was kept available to current consumers. The contract with Media Networks, the corporation in charge of the satellite operation, ends at the end of 2022.
Vivo DTH customers migrated to IPTV or TV via app
Until yesterday, Vivo’s official announcement announcing the end of DTH simply said that customers of this technology will have their services terminated. The operator only provided a post-paid or control Vivo Móvel user with an option, directing them to download the Vivo Play App.
The statement, however, was revised on Thursday (2). Instead of a shutdown, the operator now refers to it as a “technology update,” and satellite subscribers “will have the chance to move to new TV technologies, such as IPTV and OTT.”
Vivo has not yet disclosed any information on the transfer. According to the statement, the operator would push a technology migration strategy until the second half of 2022, based on technology availability in the area.
Will Vivo Play App be an alternative for DTH customers?
Vivo currently exclusively offers pay-TV through IPTV in places serviced by optical fibre. The current press release emphasises OTT (over-the-top) technology as a streaming application, but it’s still Internet TV (ie IPTV).
Streaming might be another option, particularly in locations where fibre is not yet accessible. The operator debuted the Vivo Play App in April, which does not need a pay TV subscription. 70 channels may be accessed through the internet via apps for smartphones, TV boxes, and smart TVs.
Membership in the Vivo Play App, however, is presently restricted to mobile subscribers on a postpaid or control plan. This does not apply to Vivo DTH customers who use another operator’s mobile phone, for example.
The issue is that the Vivo Play App isn’t the most elegant way to replace a traditional pay-TV service. The service, unlike Claro TV+ Box, needs the usage of a smart TV app or its own TV Box.
Read more: Refreezing a Thawed Product | Is It Dangerous?
Vivo killed DTH little by little with migration to fiber
Vivo’s DTH was already considerably more popular: in January 2016, the operator had 1.5 million satellite clients, whereas IPTV had just 200,000 visits. However, when the operator developed its fibre optic network, service subscriptions increased.
It turns out that Vivo has yet to complete the whole copper network overlay, therefore there are still DTH consumers. I am a client of the operator, and I only have satellite TV since Vivo Fibra has not yet come in my location of Belo Horizonte — I get the impression that I have been neglected, despite the fact that practically all nearby communities have the service.