Satellite experts have estimated that, by the end of the year, there will be 53 million homes with digital television, despite the low uptake digital migration across Africa.
Christopher Limmer, VP of Sales and Commercial Development for Video at Eutelsat, said that less than five countries in Africa had verified their digital transition programme.
Limmer observes that digital television homes currently sit at 20 million compared to terrestrial coverage reaching betwee 6 and 7 million in Africa, concluding that satellite is driving digitisation in Africa.
“We expect by the end of the year there will be roughly 53 million digitised homes,” he said.
However, Limmer did add that nearly a billion people in Africa live in the rural areas and the question is how to connect them to the internet and digital TV coverage.
He predicts future growth in this sector, based on how far the continent has progressed compared to a decade ago. “I can confirm that what we have seen in terms of growth and opportunities in the last two years compared to ten years ago; there is much more substance. Business plans are followed through and you have great talent working on it. It is a booming continent.”
Canal and DSTv (Multichoice company) are companies in Africa that are using satellite to beam television content while GOTv (another Multichoice company) and StarTimes are using terrestrial means to sign up digital television subscribers.
However, the low uptake has been attributed to many countries that have not pushed digital television broadcasting in accordance with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 17 June deadline.
In November, Limmer confirmed that only two countries had confirmed their transition from analogue to digital broadcasting.
Eutelsat has been involved in various television digital migration in Africa, with the most recent deployment in Zimbabwe.
This post first appeared HERE