MultiChoice Africa has signed for a total 20 Ku-band transponders for 15 years on Eutelsat’s new W7 satellite that is now fully operating at the 36 degrees East position. The capacity will be used by MultiChoice’s DStv platform which now reaches into more than 800,000 homes in sub-Saharan Africa.
MultiChoice began using Eutelsat’s W4 satellite at 36 degrees East in 2000 serving homes across Africa outside of South Africa itself. Since the beginning of January the DStv platform has been carrying out the transfer of television channels onto the new satellite from the 14 transponders used until now on W4 and SESAT 1, also at 36 degrees East. The majority of transponders were successfully migrated by January 18, with the last transponder scheduled to move to W7 on 1 February 2010. The additional six transponders leased on W7 will be progressively activated by MultiChoice Africa to support new services, including high definition channels.
With the move to W7, MultiChoice Africa has consolidated all of its Ku-band pay-TV activity outside Southern Africa onto one Eutelsat satellite. In addition to benefiting from better signal levels and improved coverage for all the regions already served from Eutelsat’s 36 degrees East neighbourhood, MultiChoice Africa has extended its Ku-band service to additional countries, notably Ethiopia, which has been receiving DStv in C-band, requiring large domestic antennas.
In a further step to consolidate the relationship, Eutelsat will actively support the MultiChoice Resource Centre (MRC) programme which uses the digital satellite platform to enhance the learning and teaching experience in over 710 schools across Africa. Eutelsat will further support MultiChoice’s objectives and will deliver additional educational content focused on building knowledge and understanding of satellite applications and engineering.