How to enjoy ShowMax Shows without paying a dime on mobile Internet

ShowMax Kenya, just like any other video content provider or broadcaster, is facing one huge challenge, the challenge of delivering ShowMax Shows cost effectively in a country where only 1% of Internet subscribers are subscribed to some form of unlimited home or office Internet. That is, majority of Internet subscribers are using the highly expensive data bundled teleco Internet mostly provided by Safaricom.

The huge challenge of delivering video content via the mobile Internet is not deterring ShowMax from innovating though. Right from their streaming platforms (mobile App or web browsers), ShowMax has ensured that the consumer of video content can choose the quality of content to view. The quality available right now are capped at HD quality where a consumer can consume more than 2GB of data per hour, view medium quality of 720p for an approximate consumption of 700 MBs per hour, or view the low quality 360p version to consume somewhere around 300 MBs per hour. Of course no consumer in Kenya who is on bundled Internet data would want to consume the HD quality that chucks over 2GB of data per hour. Just for your information, if you want to set the data cap via browser, then click the gear icon at the right end of the video progress bar, go to bandwidth capping, and choose your preferred viewing quality.

Secondly, ShowMax has done everything practicably possible to deal with latency problems. Initially when the service launched in Kenya viewing ShowMax wasn’t that smooth. Over and a gain a viewer would face glitches thanks largely to lack of local servers and secondly due to lack of buffering technology. However a few months in and ShowMax set up local servers for caching popular shows and also worked on buggering techniques that allows for videos to preload a few seconds into the future allowing viewers to watch content way smoothly at zero lags.

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Thirdly ShowMax download option means subscribers can watch their preferred ShowMax content even when they are offline, and this is very important. In partnership with Malls, Universities and some other institutions and businesses, ShowMax is unveiling free WiFi hotspots from where ShowMax subscribers can go to, downloads a few shows either on their smartphones or laptops, then go back home and watch the shows without stress. This way subscribers can continue enjoying their ShowMax subscriptions without having to consume an iota of mobile data. Right now ShowMax subscribers can access the free WiFi hotspots at Sarit Centre, Garden City, USIU and NTTI, all in Nairobi. Free ShowMax WiFi hotspots in University of Nairobi campuses should be live soon, that’s according to Patrick Mungai, Regional Growth Manager at ShowMax Kenya offices. I haven’t downloaded any shows from hotspot, but I plan to do this week then update you on just how fast the downloads work.

The last approach ShowMax is considering is the approach Facebook, Wikipedia, WhatsApp and a few others have tried with telecos, to have ShowMax services delivered cost free via the mobile data, but at a certain level of capping. This approach has already worked well in Poland where T-Mobile is able to deliver video streaming at costs less than Kshs 150 per month, but capped at 480p quality. For HD quality, T-Mobile charges somewhere around Kshs 500 a month. Comparatively, the cheapest close to unlimited mobile Internet available in the Kenyan market goes for Kshs 6000 a month, which is way out of the reach of the majority of the population.

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The approaches that ShowMax has already taken should ensure that despite data being very expensive, ShowMax subscribers are able to enjoy the ShowMax shows without having to break a bank. If you have to use mobile Internet to watch any of the numerous ShowMax Shows, then always remember to cap the streaming at either 0.3GB/hr or at the 0.7GB/hr medium quality. However, always plan to visit any free WiFi hotspot, download your favorite Show, go back home, and watch without hustling on data. Remember many of you already wait to be at free WiFi hotspots in order to share those tens of photos via WhatsApp, and also watch some those videos that have been shared through Facebook etc.

Lastly, ShowMax has this offer that can take advantage of. Right now, if you subscribe to ShowMax and pay Kshs 250, you will be given three months premium access. I subscribed two times (Kshs 250 then Kshs 250), and was given a six months premium access. I have reliably learnt that this offer can actually give you up to one year premium access for Kshs 1000 only. The offer is about to expire, so hurry and take advantage.

Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
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