Eutelsat has announced that it has sealed a three-year contract with the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) for Ku-band capacity on the EUTELSAT 3B satellite. The capacity will be used to deliver twelve free-to-view channels to a nationwide network of 48 Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) transmitters so that Zimbabwean viewers can benefit from improved image quality and a wider choice of television programmes.
The agreement between BAZ and Eutelsat will accelerate digital transition of Zimbabwe’s national broadcasting network that was initiated in 2011, and reflects the general move across Africa to a fully digital environment.
The new service is currently being tested and is due to launch during first quarter 2016. The project is managed by BAZ that is also working with Transmedia, the country’s national signal carrier, ZBC, the state broadcaster, and Huawei for sourcing of digital equipment, including set-top-boxes for user homes. Huawei will also uplink the digital multiplex from BAZ’s teleport facilities in Harare to the EUTELSAT 3B satellite.
Obert Muganyura, Chief Executive Officer of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe, said: “Access to EUTELSAT 3B will transform our country into a nationwide provider of digital broadcast services. With this Eutelsat partnership and our project partners, the stage is set for Zimbabwe to accelerate the transition from analogue to digital TV in order to deliver improved service to viewers nationwide.”
Michel Azibert, Eutelsat’s Chief Commercial and Development Officer, added: “This contract with the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe marks a first step in our involvement in Zimbabwe’s digitisation process and reflects the increasing contribution of satellite to rapid and efficient digital transition. We are delighted to see EUTELSAT 3B’s increasing weight in the African landscape and to be part of this continent-wide move to digital.”