TV operator StarTimes has been instrumental in popularizing the services of digital TV in Kenya and Africa at large. Its growth in this market received another shot on the arm after a Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) fair that was staged on Beijing sometime last week. The fair, which also housed TV operator that has been part of the digital migration journey, featured several implications and gains especially for the underserved populations in Africa that have limited to no access to broadcast content.
After launching a mobile video app that aims to pass HIV/AIDS messages to the youth, StarTimes echoed the services of a project dubbed Access To Satellite TV for 10,000 TV villages in Africa to complement the HIV/AIDS Prevent campaign. The plan is being put in place in a partnership with African governments, and purposes to promote social development and to fulfil corporate social responsibilities.
800 villages in Kenya are supposed to benefit from the program, which translates to more than 16,000 households and 2,400 public institutions. The public institutions will be equipped with StarTimes Projector TVs or one 32-inch Digital TV, while 20 homes in each village will receive satellite TV decoders and dish. Projector TVs and Digital TV set will be fitted with solar power systems and DTH access units.
The journey to broadcasting digital TV signals was preceded by a Geneva-signed treaty that was done back in 2006. Kenya was among the first African countries to digitize the TV industry, although most of the African states, which are part of the 156 members of ITU, are yet to do so. Nonetheless, the shift to digital TV services has been supported by several operators, including today’s star StarTimes that has been part of the transformation in Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, Uganda, and Kenya. It has also provided signal transmission channels for the Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Uganda, Cameroon, and other countries.
At the moment, it is serving more than 20 million African viewers.