STARTIMES MAPS AFRICA INTO THE DIGITALIZED WORLD
StarTimes is the leading digital-TV operator in Africa, covering 80 percent of the continent's population with a massive distribution network of ...
StarTimes is the leading digital-TV operator in Africa, covering 80 percent of the continent's population with a massive distribution network of 200 brand halls, 3,000 convenience stores and 5,000 distributors.
With the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) setting down 2015 to be the deadline for digitalization, it was a year of great significance and importance.
For StarTimes, the focus was on delivering on its mission of providing every African with affordable digital TV and excellent content.
StarTimes currently has licenses and registered companies in 30African nations, 16 of which use StarTimes’ broadcasting networks ,Including Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Republic of Central Africa, Republic of the Congo, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.
StarTimes owns a featured content platform, with 440authorized channels consisting of news, movies, series, sports, entertainment, children's programs, fashion, religion etc.
With high quality products, affordable prices and a high standard of service, StarTimes will continue to strive to deliver on its promise of digitalization of Africa.
In the middle of June, StarMedia Tanzania Limited received a certificate of appreciation, “For invaluable contribution to the success of migration from analogue to digital television broadcasting in Tanzania,” from the Minister of Communications Science and Technology and Chairman of National Steering Committee on Digital Broadcasting of Tanzania.
Tanzania’s Digital Migration Journey started in 2006 when it amended its broadcasting laws to accommodate digital broadcasting. The process then started the switch from analogue to Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT).
A joint venture-StarMedia Tanzania limited was formed in May 2009, between StarTimes and the Tanzania Public Service Broadcaster to roll out Digital Migration. Currently Star Media Digital Television Broadcasting delivers to all former analogue serviced areas, including major commercial and capital cities of Tanzania.
The government of Tanzania, through the Tanzania Communication Regulator has allowed the introduction of DTH to complement the DTT services.
During the Digital Migration process, the Tanzanian government provided tax relief and other incentives for importation of set-top-boxes (STB). Nearly one million set top boxes (STBs) have been sold to citizens and Tanzania currently enjoys about 51 digital channels, high lyun attain able during the analogue period.
Commenting on the successful Digital Migration, Tanzania’s Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Dr. Fenella Mukangara said, “We merged with StarTimes to create a company specifically for the roll out of Digital Migration. This was by no means an easy task, but through fierce determination, we managed to become digitized. I would like to thank StarTimes for their excellent work during this process.”
“My government will continue to support the digitization process as well as content development,” added Minister Mukangara.
The Minister concluded that Tanzania had made good progress since 2006, when the decision was made by the International Television Union (ITU) to migrate from analogue to digital.
The year kicked off with Pang Xinxing, Chairman of StarTimes Media Group having a very fruitful meeting with Zambian president, Edgar C. Lungu on 31March 2015. The Chairman shared information on StarTimes operations and investment in Zambia, to which President Lungu commented “You are the company that we would like to assist Zambia with rolling out Digital Migration.”
Digital Migration continued to be the topic of discussion, on 28thApril2015,Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the Honourable Jim Muhwezi Katugugu, Minister of Information and State Guidance, and other sectors met with Chairman Pang in Entebbe. The meeting discussed StarTimes’ Public-Private-Partnership proposal with the Uganda government to rollout Digital Migration.
President Museveni expressed the importance of Digital Migration for the entire country and urged administrators to enter into further discussions with StarTimes.
Republic of Congo
Towards the end of August, the focus moved to the Republic of Congo, where StarTimes signed an agreement and together with the Republic of Congo, will roll out digital television across the country.
The project, worth $161 million will establish digital TV transmitters in 38 cities across the country and will comprise of the digitalization of programme sources, broadcasting system, transmission system, and user terminal. Digitalization will enrich the cultural life of the citizens, but also restore transmission and communication of information-ushering in the Information Age.
The project aims to meet the requirements of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) that all the member countries should realize the Digital Migration by 2015.
China’s role in Africa
Commenting on China’s role in Africa, Mr. Chishimba Kambwili, Minister of News Department in Zambia, said that China plays a leading role in telecommunications, Internet, digital TV, education, culture, health care, etc. The co-operation between China and Africa brings a highly valued win –win situation. The Minister said that Digital Migration in Zambia is being rolled out in cities as well as the rural areas. A co-operation contract has been signed between the Zambia government and StarTimes.
5th African Digital TV Development Seminar
Over 119 delegates attended the5thAfrican Digital TV Development Seminar, hosted by StarTimes in Tianjin, China on 9thJune 2015. Leaders from Broadcasting & TV Administrations, heads of national TV stations from 29 countries i.e. Nigeria, Tanzania, Guinea, Kenya etc. leaders from the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, State Administration of Radio Film and Television, Beijing Municipality, Beijing Economic and Technological Development Zone and Beijing Cultural Bureau attended the seminar.
It also included leaders from financial institutions like the Export-Import Bank of China, China-Africa Development Fund, China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation, as well as the media from China and Africa, senior experts from Europe and America in the broadcasting & TV industry.
Chairman Pang, delivered a speech “Digital TV Promotes Social Development”. He said that the 15th June 2015 is the Digital Migration deadline set down by the International Telecommunications Union and confirmed that digitalization can bring about a better user experience, with higher clarity and richer content.
The StarTimes Group will help Africa build an entirely new TV industry in the digitalization of programme sources, controlling and broadcasting systems, transmission network and user terminals. Considering the robust technological strength and rich experience, the StarTimes Group is confident that co-operation can promote the prosperity of the African TV industry and further economic development.
In the afternoon of June 9th, Chairman Pang Xinxing and Jörg Daubitzer, Managing Director of DFL Sports Enterprises, signed a contract for the exclusive broadcasting rights of Bundesliga for the next successive five years-from 2015 to 2020. Subscribers of StarTimes will be able to view brilliant Bundesliga matches from36 teams, including Super Bowl and up and downgrading matches. Three hundred matches will be played each season.
If one contract signing was not enough, on the same day, Chairman Pang sign eda contract with American Discovery Communications, allowing StarTimes subscribers access to high quality programmes such as Discovery Science, an education and entertainment channel of superior quality and Eurosports News.
August saw StarTimes signing with MP& Silva Limited for the exclusive rights of the Italian Cup in Sub-Saharan Africa for three consecutive seasons( 2015/2016, 2016/2017 and 2017/2018) and the Italian Supercup for Year 2016 and Year 2017. In addition, Ligue 1 also arrives at StarTimes for three seasons: 2015/2016, 2016/2017 and 2017/2018.
ITU Secretary visits StarTimes Group head office
On the 12th September 2015, there was a very welcome visit to StarTimes Group head office, Beijing by Secretary of the ITU, Zhao Houlin. Guo Ziqi, Vice President of StarTimes Group, hosted Mr. Houlin who was impressed by StarTimes’ independent research of multiple terminal products and the modernized Control Centre. He also welcomed further participation of StarTimes in ITU’s careers and assistance with completing Digital Migration in Africa.
During the visit, Ms. Guo Ziqi, VP of StarTimes, also gave feedback on the company’s operational business and Digital Migration in African countries, the multiple transmission networks of DTT and DTH and the transmission and broadcasting of TV series.
Word Quality Commitment Award
In October 2015, Liao Lanfang, CEO of StarMedia Tanzania Limited, received the Word Quality Commitment (WQC) from Business Initiative Directions (B.I.D.) at an awards ceremony held in Paris.
Dr. PangYi, Managing Director of R&D, says what distinguishes StarTimes from its competitors is innovation and new ideas. She introduced StarTimes’ R&D patented technology, video compression-H.265, or HEVC. It is the next generation of the compression technology. With H.265, half of the bandwidth of the video transmission can be saved, without compromising video quality. This enables StarTimes to not only provide online videos, but also online videos in a 3G network as well as EDGE (2.75G network) technology.
China-Africa Media Summit
On 1st December 2015, the company co –hosted the China-Africa Media Summit together with Naspers. The event held in Cape Town South Africa at the International Conference Centre. It was organized by the State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), undertaken by China National Publications Import & Export (Group) Corporation. More than 200 people attended the Summit including Jiang Jianguo, Director of the State Council Information Office of PRC, Jeff Radebe, South African Minister in the Presidential Office, the Consular General of China in Cape Town and the key media leaders from Africa and China.
At the Summit, Minister Radebe said that the media plays an important role in society and that communication would ensure that the friendship between China and Africa is solidified. He continued saying Africa has got abundant resources and unique cultural diversity and it is the media’s duty to write articles and stories that create a positive image of Africa-That the true story of Africa is told to the rest of the world.
He maintained that the media are an important resource for the public to source information and create development opportunities.
South Africa is implementing a national development plan similar to China to alleviate poverty, injustice, and unemployment. The media plays a critical role in this process and he hoped that the Summit could open up a new area of co-operation between Africa and China that would encourage communication and ideas for common development.