Analogue to Digital Tv Migration - Seizing the New Business Opportunities
Analogue to Digital Tv Migration: Seizing the New Business Opportunities
KenyaThe conundrum of migrating from Analogue to Digital in a developing Nation
Kenya - Introduction As a member of the International telecommunications Union, Kenya is obligated to switch over to Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) by 17th June 2015 Kenya, often referred to as Silicon Savanah for its proactive approach to technology and its early adoption of concepts such as MPESA set itself a target migration date of December 2012 to complete the switch over to DVB. The DVB pilot begun in Kenya on the 9th of December 2009 using the Digital Video Broadcasting – Terrestrial (DVB-T) standard. Evolution of DVB technologies saw Kenya adopt the more advanced Digital Video Broadcasting – Terrestrial 2 (DVB-T2) standard.
Kenya – Introduction The decision to move to DVB-T2 in Kenya was motivated by the fact that it offered better spectral efficiency therefore offering: - Better Quality Picture and Sound Information 50% more program channels in one frequency than DVB-T Larger coverage area by a single TV transmitting station Flexibility in accommodating high definition, standard definition, mobile TV and digital audio Improved security to prevent unauthorized access As a result of this change and the process of acquiring both vendor and terminal equipment, the changeover date was pushed to 2013.
Kenya – Signal Distributors Kenya decided to appoint only two signal distributors who would then carry content from all content aggregators. In so doing, the infrastructure costs would be bourn by the state owned broadcaster’s digital arm –SIGNET and by the Pan Africa group. This allows other content providers and aggregators the freedom to invest in content as opposed to brick and mortar thus improving the commercial viability of DVB Kenya zero rated the tax on set-top boxes to encourage the uptake of DVB.
Seizing The New Business Opportunities The Migration to DVB
Historical Challenges An investor in content generation or aggregation who wanted to make his content directly available to the mass market was forced to invest in infrastructure, building transmission sites, broadcasting studios and in Africa, spending copious sums by and maintaining generators to power his transmission sites. The overheads inherent to running analogue TV stations were mind boggling and consumed resources that should have gone towards content generation. There was a major frequency shortage with only a limited number of television stations able to roll out. Running a successful television station required the ultimate all-rounder as adept at engineering as s/he was at marketing.
Historical Challenges Frequency limitations and infrastructure shortages made it difficult to have highly specialized television channels as the setup costs made it difficult to recover ones investment. Free to air television stations were forced to offer a wide bouquet of services in the hope that they will appeal to the different interests and capture a wide audience. Sports and other dedicated channels were the preserve of the pay-tv operators such as Multichoice/DSTV in Africa.
New Business One can now set up a television channel that addresses any issue from sports to dedicated news services; from cooking to movies. Without the shackles of frequency limitations and high setup costs, it is easier than ever to generate a return on investments that serve a defined niche in the market. The potential variety and quality of broadcasts will drive a new consumer feeding frenzy as they will be able to consume products dedicated to their interests.
The Blessing That is DVB DVB in its various forms, has freed up content creators and aggregators who wish to run a television station from having to invest in infrastructure. TV Stations can now partner or lease infrastructure from signal distributors and provide content avoiding significant startup costs. DVB has also freed up spectrum that will be sold to the mobile telephony networks for the 4G and LTE services.