Future of Africa’s digitial migration ‘bright’ – Eutelsat


The Vice President of satellite giant, Eutelsat Communications, Christoph Limmer, says the future of digital migration in Africa is very bright.

According to him, despite the challenges in attaining 100% digital switch-off in the continent; he is still hopeful success will be achieved in the shortest possible time.

World leaders were urged by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to migrate from analogue broadcasting to digital by June 2015.

Meanwhile, out of the 54 countries in Africa, only five have been able to meet the deadline set for the migration.

They include Mozambique; Tanzania; Rwanda; Mauritius and Malawi. Ghana, which was one of the countries in Africa that initiated moves to commence the process, is still lagging behind.

But speaking in an interview with citifmonline.com, Eutelsat’s Vice President, Christoph Limmer, was optimistic that Africa can still make the mark.

He said digitization in Africa for the next five to ten years is “very bright, that’s not a joke.”

“If you look at the predictions globally, the biggest growth opportunities today in the next ten years are on the African continent, not just our industry. But if you look at our industry, all international players have realized that the only opportunity left is Africa. For us, we believe that we are just at the beginning of a fantastic journey in Africa when it comes to broadcast, data and connectivity,” he added.

How far with Crystal TV’s digital migration?

One of Ghana’s free to air TV stations; Crystal TV, in November 2014 signed an agreement with Eutelsat to help them migrate unto a digital platform with their three channels; Crystal TV Plus, Crystal TV Prime and Crystal TV Xtra.

Commenting on the project, Christoph Limmer said “I can tell you that everything is very much on track, technical tests have taken place, technology has been set up, everything works” adding that the digital of the Cyrstal TV channels will take place later this year.”

6,000 channels, 50% market share in Africa

Eutelsat recently also announced that it now has 6,000 digital platforms globally in its fleet with more than 50% market share in Africa.

Christoph Limmer attributed the success to their commitment in creating what he described as a win-win situation for themselves and their customers.

“We have experimented with different types of business models, in different regions in Africa and different customer types, and we can leverage this experience when it comes to building up new platforms and to help channels to grow in their own environment. With more than 30 years experience in the market, we are in a leading position and we leverage and share all our learning when we want to launch new platforms because our vision is to always create a win-win situation between our customer and us. We want you to be successful, because when you are successful, we are successful; but if you are not successful, we are out of business,” he noted.

He mentioned that Eutelsat is further expanding in Africa adding that “we are bringing more capacity and satellite because we see more demand for various applications and over the next five to ten years, this demand will constantly grow and digital migration is part of that.”

By: Godwin A. Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana

Follow @AlloteyGodwin