C3, a UK-based interactive voice and data communications provider, has announced that SeTeCa, its 3G video platform, is now being used by South Africa's largest horse racing and tote betting company Phumelela, to provide a new service which enables punters to use their mobile handsets to watch live horse racing and place bets around-the-clock.
 
Phumelela has launched the service in full, following a successful three-month trial in which it was used by over 2 000 punters, with at least 200 people accessing it on a daily basis.
 
The SeTeCa platform, provided via C3’s South African distributor Atlantic Convergence, receives broadcast feeds from TellyTrack, Phumelela’s own TV channel.  These are then compressed and resized so they are suitable for mobile screen sizes. Horse racing fans can watch races on their phones, simply by video calling a specified number, and the content is streamed to their phones in real time.
 
Whilst watching the live streaming content, callers can still access Phumelela’s existing voice betting service then return to the “live” video commentary when they have completed the call. 
 
TellyTrack broadcasts all national races and has access to coverage of major race meetings overseas, including the UK. The new 3G video application means Phumelela will be able to provide “live” race coverage and betting services to their customers around the clock and are not dependant on them having access to a TV.
 
As well as 3G video, the SeTeCa platform can also be used to manage IVR and SMS services all from the same core infrastructure, giving companies or organisations the power to monetise multiple communications channels.  
 
A company spokesman said that he potential for sports streaming is virtually limitless as it can be used to broadcast both live and pre-recorded highlights of sports such as football, cricket, rugby, boxing and golf.
 
John Wood, Head of Marketing and Sales at C3, commented:  “In South Africa where the cost of video calls are the same as voice, the streaming of live sporting events such as horse racing makes clear commercial sense for companies such as Phumelela.
 
“Combined with IVR, 3G video streaming can enable gaming companies to run fully automated betting services 24/7 and with South Africa set to host the World Cup in 2010 I expect to see services such as this taking centre stage next year.”
 
Graham Finbow, of Atlantic Convergence, added: “The number of 3G enabled handsets is rising rapidly in South Africa.  As a result we’ve been able to work with companies such as C3 to develop new and exciting communication solutions which are not only engaging for the consumer, but also deliver valuable revenue streams."