StarTimes seals deal for Zambian migration

The government of Zambia has awarded a contract worth US$273 million to Star Software Technology Company (a subsidiary of Chinese DTT provider, StarTimes) for Phase II and III of the country’s digital migration project. StarTimes won Phase I of the digital migration tender in April, 2014, which included12 digital transmitters valued at US$9.55million.

Godfrey Malama, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services (MIBS), said the deal includes supply, delivery, installation and commissioning of digital terrestrial broadcasting to cover the rest of the country. “The contract will include the supply of 1.25 million customer receiving units (decoders, antennas and dishes) and 10 new provincial broadcasting stations that MIBS is establishing,” Malama said. The deal also includes the construction of a National Operations Centre for the public signal distributor and rehabilitation of ZNBC and ZANIS studios.

Malama said that when the migration is fully completed, broadcasters will have to meet a 35% threshold of local content. “I therefore, urge the youths to take advantage of this opportunity by producing local content to fill many channels which will be launched,” he said.

Analogue terrestrial signals started to be phased out in Zambia from 10 June, 2015, with digital-only broadcasting due to start 8-18 months after that.