African DTT roll-outs with NGB and Digital TV

Investment

Digital TV Labs, which provides independent, specialised receiver conformance products and services, has announced that it has been contracted by NGB – Next Generation Broadcasting, which operate as the consumer brand Smart TV – to supply a DVB-T/T2 receiver conformance regime which will assist the successful rollout of DTT services in select African markets.

NGB works with local governments and broadcasters across Africa, specifically Ghana, Kenya and Uganda, providing “well established, independent and reliable DTT distribution platforms”. These include an 8-20-channel pay-TV bouquet as well as free-to-air services and interactivity and are already deployed.

Digital TV Labs has been working with NGB to help it develop a pragmatic set-top-box specification and to roll out a conformance regime that’s appropriate to the African markets, balancing the cost of the tests against potential market size. Digital TV Labs’ Hong Kong office already has excellent working relationships with many of the potential Asian suppliers into the African market, so is ideally suited to service demand.

Anders Liljekvist, Director of Business Development with NGB, says, “We are extending the number of STB suppliers for our African operations and needed to set up a structured approval process with more extensive conformance testing to ensure that our customers can buy good quality equipment and thus also be able to better enjoy our pay-TV services. Rather than building such activities in-house we decided that it was a better idea to leverage the extensive experience and good reputation of Digital TV Labs. The fact that many suppliers already are familiar with Digital TV Labs from similar conformance testing for other markets is of course also a major facilitator in launching this.”

Because Digital TV Labs is able to quickly customise its Evora iSuite to cater for bespoke conformance regimes, a cost-effective test regime is up and running with the first receivers having already passed through the process for initial examination.

Keith Potter, CEO, Digital TV Labs, explains, “We are working very closely with NGB to provide a realistic market proposition using our considerable expertise. By working with us and our Evora iSuite product, NGB gains access to a wider supply chain with lower receiver costs while at the same time being able to be sure of the quality. This in turn reduces churn and lowers customer supports costs.”