Cable Technology Feature Article
Startimes Selects SES to Expand Its Services Across Africa
By Calvin Azuri, TMCnet Contributor
SES (News - Alert) recently announced that it has entered into a 10-year contract with China-based StarTimes Communication Network Technology. Under the terms of the contract, StarTimes will use SES-5 at 5 degrees east to expand its services across Africa, delivering direct-to-home (DTH) broadcast services to customers.
In a statement, StarTimes Group Chairman and President Pang Xinxing said, “The recent success of StarTimes’s strategic investment in ODM will allow us to reach new audiences in South Africa. The partnership with SES enables StarTimes to have a DTH platform in addition to the existing DTT and mobile TV (CMMB) platforms in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, the high-powered SES-5 at the prime orbital location of 5 degrees east is ideal in overcoming the challenges of terrestrial coverage to reach large audiences. This will allow us to extend our broadcast reach across the continent and ensure excellent service and picture quality for our viewers.”
StarTimes is a system integrator and technology provider in China. The company is aiming to expand as a digital TV operator in Africa and currently has more than 2.6 million digital terrestrial television (DTT) subscribers. Furthermore, StarTimes has acquired 20 percent of SES’ shareholding in South African pay-TV operator Top TV.
Ferdinand Kayser, chief commercial officer of SES said that, “We are honored that StarTimes has chosen to work with us to complement their DTT business across Africa and to deliver more exciting content to Africa's dynamic markets,” said. “The new partnership with StarTimes will illustrate how the combination of DTH and DTT is a key enabler in Africa's migration to digital TV and also help set pace in the continent's digital migration race.”
According to the terms of the contract, StarTimes will make use of four SES transponders as of October 2013. It will use a fifth transponder starting in February 2014. The company expects to continue with the broadcast of TopTV on SES-5 by utilizing three of the newly contracted SES transponders. The remaining two SES transponders that the company has contracted for will be used to further build on their DTT offering across remote and non-urban areas.
Edited by Blaise McNamee