NIGCOMSAT Wants to Compete with DStv, Others

A stiffer competition is expected to begin next year in the Direct-to-Home (DTH) services in Nigeria as a government agency, the Nigerian Communication Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) Limited has gone into partnership with China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) to challenge the leading operator in the business DStv.
NIGCOMSAT in the Nigerian capital city, Abuja during the week launched Direct-to-Home (DTH) services to compete with others in the private. Already, another government company the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) is partnership which produced a DTH company, StarTimes.
DTH refers to distribution of multi-channel television programmes in KU Band by using satellite system by providing TV signals direct to subscribers’ premises.
Mr Adamu Idris, head, Public Affairs Department of NIGCOMSAT, stated that with the launch of DTH, NIGCOMSAT aired programmes of its first commercial customer, OVY Network, a Botswana-based start-up DTH operator.
He noted that NIGCOMSAT, in partnership with the satellite manufacturer, CGWIC, completed a world-class head-end system composed of main stream hardware and software obtained from the U.S., Singapore and China.
He added that “after over six months of intensive testing, optimising and trial services, the system integrator will provide 24-hour, 7 days a week technical support.
“The NIGCOMSAT DTH system is capable of providing commercial broadcasting services to Nigeria and all countries within its coverage, from Senegal in the West to Namibia in the South.”
The public affairs head stated that the NIGCOMSAT DTH system may offer new solution for the Digital Switch Over Programme in Nigeria, using the DTT platform.
It is a technological evolution of broadcast television and advancement over analogue television which broadcasts land-based (terrestrial) signals.
The deadline for digital switch over using terrestrial measure appeared difficult to meet, judging by the time and resources required to build ground facilities and the huge maintenance cost, Idris noted.
He, however, added that “the challenge may be mitigated with NIGCOMSAT DTH services, using NigComSat-1R satellite, as programmes can be broadcast in urban and remote areas across the country.”
Idris quoted Mr George Kavameje, chief executive officer, OVY Network, as saying “I am excited to partner with Nigeria’s NIGCOMSAT and China’s CGWIC to reach people in Sub-Saharan Africa with premium content, using NigComSat-1R satellite.”
He stated that a high level government delegation had earlier visited NIGCOMSAT DTH Centre following the setup of system and expressed optimism on the role of NIGCOMSAT in supporting the Digital Switch Over.
Mr Adebayo Shittu, Minister of Communications, had urged the Ministry of Information and Culture, and related Ministries, Departments and Agencies to, in line with the Executive Order for Local Content, consider the indigenous capacity that NIGCOMSAT offer.
According to him, NIGCOMSAT has been developed to serve the broadcast and communication needs of businesses.
The minister said “we are ready and capable of providing quality services to both public and private sectors in Nigeria.”
Shittu also urged DTH and Telecom operators to patronise Nigerian satellite services. (NAN)


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