German mobile services provider Freenet Group is expanding in the TV market and acquiring the Media Broadcast Group, the sole commercial provider of DVB-T2 and DAB+ in Germany. In addition, Freenet Group has acquired a 25 percent stake in Exaring, a Munich-based provider of a closed IP platform for entertainment services. As a result, Freenet said it will be the only supplier of Full HD and 4K content on both stationary and mobile devices in Germany.
DVB-T is currently used in more than 7 million German households. Media Broadcast is starting the roll-out of DVB-T2, allowing it to add more channels, HD quality and on-demand services. It will also allow the introduction of more pay-TV services on the HD platform, something Freenet plans to exploit to launch services direct to consumers. “The Media Broadcast group already runs a profitable B2B business . . . By introducing paid access television services with an excellent picture quality, Freenet is going to use its substantial trading experience to build up the new private-customer business,” said Christoph Vilanek, CEO of Freenet.
With the stake in Exaring, Freenet also plans to target the online and mobile entertainment market. The acquisition gives it marketing rights to Exaring’s IP platform for entertainment services, which the company says can take advantage of fibre networks to support video quality up to 8K. It’s working on a next-generation video platform that eliminates the need for a set-top box and uses the cloud to deliver video services to a range of devices, including smartphones.