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Telco Lebara makes European OTT play

Lebara Play devicesLebara, a telecoms company that offers low-cost international calls, has moved into the over-the-top (OTT) video space by launching a “multi-ethnic content service” aimed at migrants living in Europe. 

Lebara Play will offer more than 150 TV channels and 3,0000 movies from around the world, which viewers will be able to access in the UK, Germany, Netherlands and France by the end of June.

Lebara said it plans to roll out the service – which will be available on mobiles, tablets, computers, and select set-top boxes – to the rest of Europe over the summer and other territories worldwide by the year-end.

Lebara Play will initially offer content aimed at Tamil, Turkish, French West African and English West African audiences in Europe, with an expanding catalogue to include Romanian, Polish, Hindi and other content packages covering 13 languages.

“Serving the migrant community is at the core of everything we do at Lebara.  While the need to call loved ones is never far away, as new locations become home for our customers, different needs such as financial services and entertainment become more important,” said Lebara Group chairman and CEO, Yoganathan Ratheesan.

He said Lebara Play is aimed at an “under-served community” and that “the launch proves that we’re delivering on our plans to disrupt the existing entertainment landscape and diversify our communications business.”

Lebara has struck deals with content players in Europe, Africa and Asia, including: Tamil broadcaster Sun Network; pan-African channel Ebony Life; Nigerian network Silverbird; French Nollywood movies channel, Nollywood TV; Turkish channel ATV Avrupa; and African Movie Channel.

Lebara Play will be available with flexible payment options, including voucher top-ups and £9.99 subscription packages.

The service is available on Android smartphones and tablets, with iOS to follow soon. Viewers can also access Lebara Play on PCs or Macs via the Lebara Play site or watch on TV via set top boxes available from selected retail stores.

Lebara bills itself as “the universal brand for the world’s migrant community”. Launched in 2001, the firm offers international mobile phone calls and SIM cards, offering low rates for overseas calls.