We are pleased to share the news that, on April 15, 2021, the Federal Government of Nigeria finally lifted the restrictions on SIM card registration and reactivations which were suspended since December 2020. (Please, see article.)
The policy effectively made it impossible for Pipul TV to resume the data-cost free access to our streams and content after we had to suspend that platform by 6.13 pm on November 4, 2020, in order to implement much-needed platform adjustments and upgrades to enable us to provide sustainably satisfactory services. When we attempted to resume services a month later in December 2020, the policy had gone into effect. A week later, the government made it mandatory for all Nigerian subscribers to tie their phone numbers to the National Identity Number (NIN). We were initially made to understand that the restrictions would be lifted by January 15, 2021, against which premise we announced that our SIM services will resume on January 29. Sadly that never came to pass, leading many of our dear subscribers to accuse Pipul TV of insincerity and deceit. As usual, we weathered the storm of negativity, focussing more on gradually refining our services in anticipation of the eventual lifting of the restrictions. We were confident because dozens of other corporate establishments and operations were also adversely affected and we kept on getting reassurances from the government that the exercise will be completed shortly.
On April 7, last Wednesday, we received communication from the Minister’s Office that the lifting of the restrictions have been approved and the regulating agency has been instructed to carry it out. We were pleased to read the publication of that activity yesterday, April 15, 2021.
The expectations from the lifting of the restrictions are two-fold.
- NIN Requirements: All subscribers of the Pipul TV service are mandated to submit their NIN. For existing subscribers, this must be done before they can resume their subscription. For new subscribers, this must be satisfied during registration. All subscribers can carry out this instruction via the myaccount.pipul.tv portal.
- SIM Service Resumption: Starting from April 21, 2021, the SIM platform reactivation process by the telco(s) will commence and we expect this process to be completed in no more than ten (10) days. Hence we expect the resumption of our data-cost free SIM access to resume by Saturday, May 1, 2021.
- The universal subscription-free access will terminate on April 30, 2021. This promo was designed to enable first-time users of our OTT platform (downloadable apps for mobile devices) to experience the Pipul TV service before committing to a subscription.
- OTT: The Pipul TV app for mobile devices is now available for download from Google Play Store since April 1, 2021. The iOS version of the Pipul TV app will be available for Apple devices from April 25, 2021. Support for other online stores (such as for smart TVs – Samsung Tizen, LG – Roku, etc.) will be released in the succeeding weeks. This provision, however, does not replace the Magic Box (Pipul TV’s proprietary STB). STB subscribers enjoy more flexibility, features and perks. These shall be presented in future bulletins.
- All subscribers on our OTT (mobile-only) platform, who decide to subscribe at the expiry of the promo period, are entitled to a free SIM which will guarantee their data-cost free access to our platform. The SIM, for the time being, will only provide this access to Pipul TV content and streams and not for open Internet access. The SIM can be inserted in the mobile devices, MiFi modems or the STB, as individual needs demand. This SIM is obtainable from all our authorised distributor outlets as published on our website (pipul.tv/outlets). All existing STB owners with verified SIM issues are also entitled to a replacement accordingly.
- All those who renewed their subscription between January 31, 2021, and April 15, 2021, will automatically enjoy an additional free month of access from May 1, 2021. All those with running subscriptions before then will also be commensurately compensated.
- Access to our EXTRA package of specially-controlled content will be opened from May 10, 2021, for an extra fee. Kindly liaise with your dealer if you are interested.
- Our educational platform will be released later in the month of May. We are also including the European educational curriculum in addition to the Nigerian educational curriculum that covers Primary 1 through SS 3. More information on this will be published in the coming weeks.
- We are also launching our local language content channels, starting with the Hausa Pipul and the Yoruba Pipul channels from April 20, 2021. We will be releasing up to a total of 21 local language channels later in the year.
- Onboarding of other telco networks will commence later in the month of June 2021.
More announcements and updates shall be released as we progress. It is our firm determination to provide a service that all Nigerians, home and abroad, will be proud of.
We apologise for the inconveniences and frustrations that the suspension of data-cost free access had caused to date. But we assure you all that this is a journey of discovery and satisfaction. We restate our commitment to continue to improve by the day and to bring to you unlimited and worry-free entertainment.