Gabon has started deploying DTT
Since the beginning of October 2009 and by government law, Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) is available in Gabon. In a country of 1.5 million inhabitants, Gabon becomes the 4th country in Africa equipped with DTT (called Télévision Numérique Terrestre in French) after South Africa, Morocco and Kenya. Gabon is also the first central African country equipped with DTT.
DTT has been rolled out to 300,000 households – including 140, 000 in Libreville - that used to receive the Gabonese national channels in lower quality analogue signal.
Today, thanks to this new network, one just needs to be equipped with an antenna (already owned by 90% of households in Libreville, the capital) and a DTT decoder to be able to access Gabon and international channels in digital quality with a stereo sound.
TNT Africa, in charge of the project took into account the average budget of an average household in Gabon to implement its public prices. Thus, the company offers packages ranging from CFA francs 1,500 per month (2.30 euros) to CFA francs 2,500 (3.80 euros). Depending on the package subscribed, customers have access to five information channels or up to 14 international channels. The DTT box price starts at about CFA francs 50,000. Edgard Togouma, CTO of Digital TV, main distributor of DTT boxes in Gabon confirmed “30 channels in digital quality are priced at CFA francs 100.00. Beyond these basic 30 channels you have the opportunity to purchase additional subscriptions for a higher price.”
The Gabonese government gains two thing out of DTT deployment: national channels are broadcast in high quality and the population can access international channels at lower price (less need to purchase a satellite set up to get international channels), enabling more liberalisation and freedom. The move will also eliminate the number of satellite aerials which have in some areas polluted the landscape.