Satellites

The launch of GOtv in 2011 was hugely exciting to us. Our low cost digital television service uses the latest generation Digital Video Broadcast standard and was the first in Africa.

This Digital Video Broadcast standard represents one of the most advanced digital terrestrial television (DTT) broadcast system and infrastructure, established in Africa to date and leapfrogs the outdated T1systems which were utilised by first movers in the Digital Migration. This puts Africa at the forefront of technology in the digital migration process.

Africa’s first commercial operations using the next generation Digital Video Broadcast standard - DVB-T2 was first rolled out with the launch of GOtv in Lusaka, Zambia and Uganda.

GOtv provides great family entertainment - with channels ranging from news, children’s programming, documentaries, series, sport and movies, its launch signified the opening up of a new world of digital television entertainment in Africa. Most importantly, GOtv showcases digital quality free-to-air channels in each country of operation. GOtv is currently available in nine countries: Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia.

The migration is mandatory in order to continue delivering exciting programming of the best quality that enhances subscriber viewing pleasure. Digital broadcasting is far more efficient, allowing for better picture and sound quality, the capability for enhanced applications (such as electronic programme guides) as well as the potential to increase the amount and variety of television content, in essence, increasing consumer choice.

MultiChoice is constantly upgrading its technology to ensure that viewers in Africa remain on the cutting edge of broadcast developments. In line with this, and as part of the global switch-over to digital services, we are rolling out DTT (digital terrestrial television) services under the brand name GOtv. DTT refers to the broadcasting of terrestrial television in a digital format. Terrestrial television uses a network of transmission towers to relay the signal across the country. Each transmission tower has a specific area of coverage, and it is this network of coverage that provides television signals across the country. The broadcast signal is sent to the various towers and subscribers within the area covered by a tower can receive the broadcast services via a terrestrial aerial, which is usually placed on the roof top or on the television set (depending on the signal strength). As part of the digital migration, all households which do not already have a DStv decoder will need to acquire a digital set top box (decoder). In addition, each country needs to set up an entire DTT network for the transmission of television signals and agree a workable licensing framework. Delivering the DTT network required to enable the switchover is no easy feat. It means that frequency channels for new digital services must be allocated and a licensing framework agreed; the full broadcast network must be converted; retailers and manufacturers must ensure that enough set-top boxes are in place and meet a specific standard; call centre support needs to be established and in some cases installer support is required; and equipment high up on transmission towers must be changed. The new services can only be launched after all of these things have been achieved. None of this is quick or easy, and all of it takes time and a massive investment.