In a previous report on Zimbabwe’s digital migration, the Secretary for Media, Information and Broadcasting Services, George Charamba, mentioned that the government had secured satellite access from French broadcast and telecoms firm, Eutelsat.
At the time, Charamba was referring to the deal where Zimbabwe had paid for a transponder that would enable broadcasting through satellite services.
Now, in its latest announcement, Eutelsat has mentioned that it has sealed a three-year contract with the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) for capacity in Ku-band on the EUTELSAT 3B satellite.
This capacity will be used to deliver twelve free-to-view channels to a nationwide network of 48 Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) transmitters. This will allow Zimbabwean viewers to access content that will be of an improved quality and while ensuring that, through the multiple channels viewers have wider programming choice.
The new service is currently being tested and is due to launch during the first quarter of 2016.
This is the latest development in the country’s digital migration, and it is meant to accelerate the process which was started in 2011 and has involved the national broadcaster ZBC, and Transmedia, Zimbabwe’s national signal carrier.
Also playing a crucial role in this digital migration is Huawei. The Chinese firm is handling the uplink of the digital multiplex from BAZ’s teleport facilities in Harare to the EUTELSAT 3B satellite, and also leading the charge on digital equipment acquisition and deployment.
Part of this exercise has involved the sourcing of the set top boxes which will be distributed to all television viewers in Zimbabwe. 400,000 of these set top boxes have been secured at a cost of $18 million.
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