Africa: Watch Dstv On Your Phone

Technology & Convergence

Television fans may soon enjoy their favourite programmes from their mobile phones if plans by Multichoice Uganda to introduce the system come to fruition. The system will be made possible with the help of a new broadcast standard called Digital Video Broadcasting - HandHeld (DVB-H), that allows linear television to be delivered and viewed on a mobile phone.

South African officials from Multichoice Africa; Harry Pratt, the Business Development Manager and Martin Ungerer, the Africa Platform Manager, revealed their plan recently at the Multichoice Uganda offices.

In Africa, Multichoice's Dstv Channel uses DVB via satellite. Pratt says by 2015, the DVB-H technology will have spread worldwide. The system can be operated from any mobile device like DVD screens in cars, planes or laptops. A number of countries in Europe have carried out trials on it.

"We could have one frequency with about 12 channels including sports, music and local programmes say on UBC. Programming will vary with time," Pratt explained.

He said that in America and Europe, mobile TV programming is being made and that programmes like soaps have had episodes prepared for mobile TV. "Now companies are developing what they call mobisods (short duration drama episodes and films)."

Pratt says one could watch an entire soccer match or movie on mobile TV. "It is one's choice to watch either the ordinary TV or mobile TV." Asked about X and PG rated material, Pratt explained that family-type programming would be considered. "We have a strict policy on adult material."

(New Vision (Kampala), 10 July 2007)

§ Media Relations and Democracy Building in Liberia (Seminar, Monrovia, July 12th 2007)