Digital switchover: Nigeria’s MCI, Korean company close $1b set-top-box deal
Media Concepts International Limited (MCI), a Nigerian TV Set-Top box maker has teamed up with KAON Media, a South Korean tech company to set up a manufacturing plant for the full actualization of the Digital Switch Over (DSO) in Nigeria.
Mr. Babatope Agbeyo, Chairman, Media Concepts International Limited, said Tuesday in Lagos that the “capital-intensive” manufacturing plant is estimated at $1b.
According to him, the manufacturing plant expected to commence operation by 2016 is being established by the Media Concept International (MCI) Limited, a company licensed by Nigerian broadcasting regulator, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to make Set-Top boxes in alliance with its South Korean partner, KAON Media.
The Chairman of MCI says the plant can manufacture over three million Set-Top boxes annually and will employ over 1000 Nigerians while also explaining that the Nigerian company’s choice of KAON Media of South Korea was based on “MCI’s extreme cravings for top quality products.”
[blockquote right=”pull-right” cite=”Mr. Emeka Mba, the Director-General of NBC “]According to Mba, for the Nigerian broadcasting industry, the ITU-mandated DSO is a “monumental project, a national project because the entire value chain is involved. Technology is being changed. Nigeria is unique. It is a significant market with 26 million family television homes, some with more than one television set.” [/blockquote]
MCI says the agreement is significant in Nigeria’s history because it will not only enhance technology transfer but also tackle the high rate of unemployment among the youth.
The MCI Chairman expressed gratitude to NBC for providing the right leadership that bolsters investors’ confidence in the economy.
According to him, there were doubts at the beginning, even after paying the N50 million licence fee, of the sincerity of the government in driving the process to conclusion.
” What we are doing today is not just signing of agreement between MCI and its technical partner but the dedication of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission in making DSO achievable”, Agbeyo told journalists at the media parley in Lagos.
”We have being part of this process for quite some time. When we were invited to bid for the set-top boxes, we were so happy although, we were skeptical because we felt we don’t know anybody at the helm of affairs. But I must confess that NBC has been so transparent in the whole process and that why we could be part of the DSO in Nigeria today.”
Also speaking at the event, Mr. Emeka Mba, the Director-General of NBC says the partnership between the two companies represents a major breakthrough in Nigeria’s quest to achieve the June 2017 Digital Broadcasting Switch-over deadline, having missed the June 2015 deadline earlier set by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
According to Mba, the Digital Broadcasting migration is a national project that is monumental and deserves professional competencies as it entails total overhaul of the technologies existing in the broadcasting space.
According to Mba, for the Nigerian broadcasting industry, the ITU-mandated DSO is a “monumental project, a national project because the entire value chain is involved. Technology is being changed. Nigeria is unique. It is a significant market with 26 million family television homes, some with more than one television set.”
The NBC D-G adds that, “this is a significant milestone in the history of Nigeria because it will not only facilitate the transfer of the much-needed technology, but will also create jobs for the country and thereby grow the economy.”
According to him, “the site for the factory is ready and by January next year, the foundation-laying ceremony will be laid and by the end of the year, the factory will hopefully go on stream. The DSO is a massive project that will change a lot of things.”
Mba said that NBC prioritizes standards, which forms part of reasons the Commission insisted that participating companies must set up manufacturing plants in Nigeria to create room for proper monitoring and testing of the products.
On his part, Mr. Young Kang, Sales director, KAON Media, Middle East and Africa (MEA), said the company is excited to be part of an epoch-making event in Nigeria.
He promised that the products to be launched into the Nigerian market will be of global standard and will be supported by after sales service across the country.
Kang, who said the firm has 120 global customers with successful operations in Europe and other parts of the world, promised to replicate the success recorded in those markets in Nigeria.
He also promised that the company will promote transfer technology and sell products made-in-Nigeria by Nigerians for Nigerians.
“Our products have been manufactured to withstand the harshest condition. They are resilient and covered with one year warranty”, he adds.
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