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
Senegal govt, AfDB to build US$120 million digital parkThe Senegalese government and the African Development Bank (AfDB) will join forces to put aside about US$20 million and US$100 million, respectively, to build a mega-digital park in the city of Diamniadio. Read More
Govt confirms NATCOM’s $252m Nitel/Mtel purchaseThe Federal Government of Nigeria has confirmed the sale of former state-run but now moribund telco, the Nigerian Telecommunication (Nitel) and its mobile arm, Mtel to NATCOM Consortium for $252 million. Read More
Angola takes science and technology roadshow to schoolsAngola’s Minister of Science and Technology has hailed a programme carried out this year to increase school learners’ understanding of science, technology and innovation. Read More
Senegal to issue smart ID, voter’s cardsThe government of Senegal is planning to issue new smart ID documents and voter’s cards, a project it said will strengthen the administration and fight identity theft. Read More
MTN, Orange, Cameroon govt launch Mobile Tax serviceThe Cameroonian government has launched a new tax service called Mobile Tax, in association with mobile operators MTN and Orange. Read More
BTCL IPO date reset againThe embattled BTCL IPO launch date has not seen the last of its changes yet. Read More
Botswana tops Africa Prosperity ReportBotswana tops the 2014 Africa Prosperity Report, as the continent enjoys unprecedented economic upturn, but Africa faces new challenges in gender gap and personal freedom. Read More
Mali Digital Plan 2020 to reorganise economyThe coordinator of Mali’s proposed ICT development strategy believes digital technologies have the potential to revolutionise people’s lifestyle and working relationships, boost culture and improve education, among others. Read More
Nigeria lures broadband investors with incentivesNigeria has highlighted opportunities and incentives for would-be investors, on the sidelines of ITU Telecom World. Read More
Senegal, World Bank launch mobile survey on living conditionsA household survey called A l’écoute du Sénégal ("Listening to Senegal") was launched late last week in this West African nation by the Senegalese government in association with the World Bank. Read More
FEATURED STORYPWC: Optimism abounds but a bumpy journey ahead for some
PwC’s ‘Capital Projects & infrastructure in East Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa,’ report says infrastructure spend in the region is projected to reach $180bn per annum by 2025.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.