Africa: Fewer than 10% of countries will achieve analogue switch off by 2015

Technology & Convergence

IBC 2012 in AMS: Fewer than 10% of countries in Africa will achieve analogue switch off by their target date of 2015, according to Christoph Limmer, senior director SES marketing and market development, Africa.

Speaking in a mini conference session on the continent, he added that satellite penetration there had increased by 16% in the last five years. Cable and IPTV shares are meanwhile low and will remain so, while analogue terrestrial services are still dominant. Commenting on the advantages of DTH over DTT in Africa, Limmer cited the example of Ghana, where he was told only two weeks ago by a government minister that the maintenance costs of a single DTT transponder serving the country run at $16 million (€12.5 million) a year.

In Limmer’s view, the best future digital solution for Africa will be a combination of terrestrial and satellite services. Limmer also discussed an exclusive agreement that SES has entered into with Samsung that sees 32-inch screens with integrated MPEG-4/DVB-S2 distributed for $399, with a promotional price of $249 planned for the upcoming Christmas period.

He in addition revealed that SES is working on two FTA platforms in West Africa. The company currently serves the content by means of four satellites, located at 338 degrees East, 28.2 degrees East, 5 degrees East and 5.7 degrees East. Two of these satellites – SS4 and SS5 – will have been launched this year.