Azuri launches pay-as-you-go solar satellite TV in Kenya MWorld FEATURES, NEWS The off-grid solar market is in the midst of a serious boom, already growing beyond the simple necessities of lighting and phone charging. Azuri Technologies, pay-as-you-go solar technology provider, has unveiled its new 32-inch solar satellite TV system specially designed and customised for off-grid customers in Africa. The 32-inch Azuri TV is the latest product release from the company which already has in its product portfolio a 24-inch solar satellite TV. Azuri was the first pay-as-you-go company back in 2016 to integrate solar TV with satellite entertainment in one affordable package for households without access to mains electricity. Azuri’s 32-inch TV Solar Home System comes with 4 high brightness LED lights, mobile phone charging and a rechargeable torch and radio. More than 60 satellite TV channels and 20 plus radio channels complete the package. To ensure durability and to meet the conditions of rural environments, the TV features Azuri ToughScreen technology, designed to resist accidental damage during normal use in the home. The 32-inch AzuriTV will initially be launched in Kenya at only KSh129 per day. The company plans to launch the new TV in other markets across Sub-Saharan Africa later in the year. Kenya has around 10 million households, yet only around 3.9 million households have TV. Challenges Azuri CEO Simon Bransfield-Garth said there are three obstacles preventing rural off-grid consumers from watching TV: access to power, service coverage and the high up-front cost of the installation. AzuriTV addresses all three by providing affordable TV, anytime, anywhere. “Azuri’s vision is one that sees a level playing field where all consumers have the ability to benefit from modern products and services, regardless of where they live,” said Simon Bransfield-Garth. “Solar TV provides a range of important social benefits including access to news and information and unprecedented connectivity for people without access to power,” he added. According to the Efficiency for Access Coalition, a coalition to accelerate global energy access through energy-efficient appliances, televisions are the second most desired off-grid appliance, with only solar lighting ranking more highly. Survey In a survey of Azuri customers, 98% customers said they felt more aware of local and international news while 92% of customers said watching television programs in their preferred language had improved their communications skills. 60% of customers reported seeing their children improve reading, writing and speaking skills since installing an Azuri solar TV. Educational entertainment, such as the popular farming programme Shamba Shape-up in Kenya and Tanzania can also help rural customers learn and adapt new practices on their farms to improve production and income. Azuri’s pay-as-you-go solar lighting and TV products require customers to make small weekly payments via mobile money to unlock the system’s power. Using this easy payment service, customers are able to access a wide range of modern digital capabilities and services including micro-insurance and media content.