Pan African Network says 70% of Kenyans covered by digital TV

Technology & Convergence

Pan African Network Group, the second licensed digital broadcasting signal distributor has announced that 70 per cent of the population can now access digital broadcasting signal. Speaking at the familiarization tour of its transmission site in Limuru, Business Development Manager, Kamal Sohrab said the company intends to achieve 90 percent coverage by end of the year.

“We have made significant progress in rolling out digital broadcasting signal in Kenya as mandated within the contract with the government to ensure seamless transition from analogue to digital television transmission” said Kamal.

Pan Africa Network Group has its main station located at Limuru, comprising of a receiver station and transmission station serving the whole country and have installed head ends in 10 other key towns.

“With the achievement of a 100% network cover in the country, we will have invested over USD 75 million in our quest to make digital television a reality in Kenya. The digital signal coverage as at now can be accessed in 15 towns and their environs across the country. These include; Meru, Embu, Karatina, Malindi, Kakamega, Webuye, Kitale, Bungoma, Eldoret, Nyeri and Nakuru. This in addition to the country’s major towns Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu. These are the areas holding most of the television sets in the country,” said Kamal.

Pan Africa Network Group has heavily investment in local human resource where the company has used its expertise in digital broadcasting to train local resources with the aim of eventually seeing the complete management of the investment by local talent.

While explaining the importance of digital migration, Kamal said that the adoption of digital television will open up many opportunities for the television industry.

“While viewers will benefit from clear picture quality and more content, local broadcasters will benefit in the reduction of operation costs distributing content to viewers, which will now be distributed by signal distributors, allowing broadcasters to concentrate on content development which will further see more television players venture in the country. This will improve the viewing experience for the Kenyans,” said Kamal.

Pan Africa Network Group has one Pay Television client so far, StarTimes Media who the company offering low cost Digital Pay TV services as well as a couple of other Free To Air channels operating in the country while it intends to continue enrolling more.

The Communication Commission of Kenya intends to start the analogue to digital migration through a phased process that will kick start in Nairobi. Tanzania initiated the migration process ahead of its East Africa neighbors by switching the analogue signal in Dar es Salaam.

“We do hope that the transition in Kenya will be a smooth process as we are keen on ensuring Kenya’s television sets remain switched on” said Kamal.