Nigeria’s race to meet the 2017 digital broadcasting switchover target gets closer to reality as the industry regulator says the satellite uplink service for the pilot phase underway in Jos, Plateau State, is now ready.
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), which confirmed the readiness of the satellite link says it was deployed by Nigerian technology company, Computer Warehouse Group (CWG).
Ms. Alheri Saidu, the acting Director-General of NBC confirmed this following an inspection visit last weekend to the facilities at the CWG site of the satellite uplink system in Lagos.
Accompanied by members of the Board of Management of the Commission the Director General was shown round the uplink facilities in the premises of the Computer Warehouse Group, CWG, the NBC says in a statement following the visit that took place on Saturday.
On the NBC’s top brass’ delegation were representatives of the various stakeholders, including Engr. Mohammed Bawa, the General Manager CCNL and Mr. Rajiv Mekkat, the CEO, Inview Nigeria.
Addressing the delegation, Mr. Austin Okere, the Founder and Executive Vice Chairman of CWG Plc, , thanked the Ag. DG for the visit.
According to Okere, who says that the technology company considers itself a partner in the Jos DSO pilot run of Nigeria’s DSO, “coming to CWG on a Saturday, and on time, showed that the NBC was a serious organisation that was keen on the Digital Switch Over.”
According to Okere, CWG was working in partnership with the satellite company, SES, and they were fully kitted to provide the uplink of the national and regional channels for the Jos pilot project.
In her remarks, the Ag. DG thanked the Management of CWG for the warm reception accorded the NBC. She further stressed that at the NBC, staff work round the clock particularly at this time when the NBC is determined to ensure the success of the DSO project.
The Management of the NBC were in the CWG to see how prepared they were for the Digital Switch Over project, says NBC which says that the Jos pilot Switch Over was presently the Commission’s major focus, and urged the SES/CWG to ensure everything worked out successfully.
Speaking on behalf of the SES, the General Manager Mr. Ibrahim Guimba- Saidou, stated that the SES was honoured to be a part of the journey towards the Digital Switch Over.
Guimba- Saidou says that within the SES Management, the DSO project was of high priority and therefore assured the NBC that the technology company were fully ready and would put in their best to ensure its success.
Corporate presentations on the activities of the SES and the CWG were made by Mr. Theodore Asampong, Sales Director of the SES and Mr. James Agada CEO, CWG.
The Founder and Vice Chairman of CWG, accompanied by the SES Management, thereafter, conducted the NBC Management on the inspection tour of the facilities.
The NBC management was shown the transmitting and receiving dish farm, as well as the various processing and monitoring facilities needed for the DSO.
Within the broadcast industry regulator, the DSO is regarded as a top priority in an industry currently estimated to have about 2.5m digital TV homes, a number that is expected to increase dramatically to 20 million after the Digital Switch Over (DSO), to make Nigeria the biggest digital TV market in Africa.
With Nigeria also accounting for over 149 million mobile phone lines, making it one of the fastest growing mobile market in the world, NBC reckons that a growth traction of over 20.4 million free-to-air (FTA) TV households across the country and also estimates that digital TV penetration will reach 100% by 2020.