Li Ka-shing
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Li Ka-shing

Hutchison Telecom and Google team up to bring more OTT content with Chromecast

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 April, 2016, 12:38am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 April, 2016, 12:38am

Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong, the city’s second-largest wireless network operator, has teamed up with Google to introduce its digital media streaming player Chromecast, which promises to bring more over-the-top online content to local consumers.

The company, a subsidiary of billionaire Li Ka-shing’s CK Hutchison Holdings, is the first telecommunications service provider to roll out the second-generation of this popular device in Hong Kong.

“Only an integrated telecommunications provider such as Hutchison Telecom, which operates both fixed-line and mobile businesses, has the capability to bundle the new device with various offerings,” company chief operating officer Jennifer Tan Yuen-chun said at the launch on Wednesday.

It marked the latest OTT-related network partnership of Hutchison Telecom after its recent alliance with Hong Kong broadcaster TVB, with its “myTV SUPER” mobile app.

Tan said in February that the company was committed to becoming the platform of choice for new OTT content providers in Hong Kong.

That Chromecast deal further raises the stakes in the battle for online content viewership in the city.

Local telecommunications and media giant PCCW, which operates pay-television market leader NowTV, introduced last quarter Viu OTT, a platform that shows South Korean and Japanese content.

The competitive OTT field also includes Netflix, sports network ASN and mainland Chinese entertainment company LeEco.

Plugged into a television’s high-definition multimedia interface port, Chromecast opens access to about 200,000 TV shows and movies, 30 million songs, internet radio, sporting events shown online and games, according to Hutchison Telecom.

“A smartphone can be used as a remote to control for the TV,” said Mickey Kim, Google’s head of Asia-Pacific Chromecast partnerships.

Kim pointed out that the device’s “guest mode” allows a user to have friends screen their videos or join a game via their smartphones.

“The future of entertainment is streaming and Chromecast brings it all to you in a simple, affordable device,” he said.

Hutchison Telecom’s residential fixed-line service 3Home Broadband is offering Chromecast with home broadband and telephone service, out-of-home Wi-fi, myTV Super box rental from HK$138 a month.

New subscribers to 4G operator 3 Hong Kong as well as its selected existing customers can get Chromecast for free.

Phillip Shih, a vice-president at Taiwanese music-streaming service KKBOX, said the company is one of the content providers for Hutchison Telecom’s Chromecast initiative.