Kenya gets more Pay TV
GOVERNMENT| Aug. 10, 2012, 10:20 a.m.
By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya
Chinese broadcaster StarTimes Media is expanding its Pay TV beyond Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.
The firm launched the pay TV signal in Kenya’s lake side city, Kisumu, two weeks after another firm, GO TV, shifted the battle for subscribers in the digital broadcasting market from Nairobi.
GO TV is a joint venture by MultiChoice and state broadcaster Kenya Broadcasting Corporation.
The move by the pay TV providers rides on the back of Kenya’s rush to beat its self-imposed digital migration deadline of December 2012.
The International Telecommunication Union had set June 2015 as the cut-off date for analogue broadcasting globally and African governments are battling to meet the deadline.
StarTimes Media CEO Leo Lee said Kenya was actively engaging in measures to shift from analogue to digital television platform and his company shall be playing a significant role in ensuring Kenyans enjoy the benefits of the switch.
“We intend to invest USD75 million by the year 2015 which will not only guarantee world class television service in Kenya but also provide employment to over 1,000 Kenyans,” said Leo Lee.
One of the incentives that the Kenya government has provided to make the transition more seamless was to waive the excise duty on DVBT-2 gadgets commonly referred to as set-top-boxes. The digital gadgets enable analogue TV sets access digital broadcasting signals meaning consumers with analogue TV sets need not buy digital sets to access digital broadcasting signals.
“The DVBT-2 signal is now available in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu. By December it will be available in all parts of Kenya that have analogue signal. That will be about 80% of the population covered,” said Ministry of Information Permanent Secretary, Dr Bitange Ndemo.
The pay television providers, StarTimes and GOtv, are selling their digital terrestrial set-top boxes at Sh2,999 and Sh3,500 respectively, which is still expensive to majority of Kenyans.
According to Ndemo, the cost of set-top-boxes range from as little as USD5 for basic converter to USD100 for a more advanced converter but business people have not been importing the basic converters.
“There are proposals that the Government should actually buy this for consumers just like most countries have done. The trouble will be how to identify who to buy for,” said Dr Ndemo.
StarTimes Media will be providing its service at an introductory price of sh2, 999 for a plug and play decoder and has various packages ranging from Ksh500 to Ksh3,000 per month.
MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS
Egyptian tech firms expand African footprint with potential deals worth $7mEgypt’s Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) helped setting out a number of partnership protocols and concluding business agreements between Egyptian companies and 17 leading African telecom companies, financial institutions and ICT enterprises, in 6 different African countries. Read More
Accra to become first ‘Centre of Excellence’ in Africa with Microsoft CityNext applicationsMicrosoft Ghana, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and the Global Alliance of Mayors and Leaders from Africa and African Descent signed an agreement to make the city of Accra in Ghana Africa’s first ‘Centre of Excellence’, through the use of Microsoft’s CityNext applications. Read More
Malawi Government levies tax on Internet/SMSThe Malawi Government has announced that it will levy a 10 percent excise duty on mobile phone text messaging as well as all data transfers, including internet and similar services. Read More
Ghana’s 800km fibre optic backbone commissionedGhana’s President John Dramani Mahama has commissioned an 800km Eastern Corridor Fibre Optic backbone which runs through 20 districts. Read More
NIMC infrastructure must be managed by credible people: NIMC chiefNIMC’s chief speaks to Kokumo Goodie about the role of the NIMC and his own legacy. Read More
Kenyan ICT on track for strong growthThe Kenyan government projects that the country’s ICT sector will approach 20% growth by 2017, with the government making every effort to help boost this growth. Read More
Ghana commissions enhanced CICsGhana’s Minister for Communications, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah, has commissioned and handed over an Enhanced Community Information Centre (E-CIC) to La Nkwantanang-Madina Municipal Assembly in the Greater Accra Region under the e-governance project. Read More
Rwanda hosts Africa Broadband and Universal Service Funds ForumThe Africa Broadband and Universal Service Funds (USF) forum brought together broadband stakeholders from all over Africa in Kigali for a three-day forum this week. Read More
Airtel, Ghana Communications Ministry promote girls in ICTAirtel Ghana has partnered the Ministry of Communication to celebrate International Telecommunication Union Girls in ICT Day. Read More
Alcatel-Lucent, Algeria to build Orval undersea cable systemAlcatel-Lucent and the Algerian Ministry of Post, Information Technology and Communications have signed a turnkey agreement for the deployment of the Orval system, an over 560 km fiber-optic undersea cable that will link Oran in Algeria to Valencia, Spain. Read More
FEATURED STORYThe transformative power of affordable smartphones and unlimited data in Ghana
Smartphones are helping transform their lives of ordinary people in Ghana, Reports Nana Appiah Acquaye.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHNIMC infrastructure must be managed by credible people: NIMC chief
NIMC’s chief speaks to Kokumo Goodie about the role of the NIMC and his own legacy.