3 December 2012

Uganda: Digital TV Operators Decry Slow Publicity

Kampala — Government needs to increase awareness campaigns if the country is to fully embrace the concept of digital migration, an industry player has said.

Mr. Simon Arineitwe, the Country Sales Manager at Startimes Digital TV says the message that has often been put out by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) is not very clear to many citizens, calling for increased close interaction.

"The role of the UCC and the Ministry of Information Communication Technology is to take the message out to the public. We as vendors want to sell the digital equipment but we cannot do so if the population is not fully sensitized as to why they should purchase," Arineitwe said.

Mr. Charles Hamya, the General Manager of Multichoice Uganda, the distributors of DStv and GOtv says they are supportive of the digital migration process, hover arguing that the government should put in place certain measures to ensure a smooth transition.

"Government has to basically ensure that the free to air channels are available even after the switch over happens," Hamya said.

Startimes' Simon Arineitwe on the other hand added that because the digital migration awareness campaigns were not sinking well.

"Only about 30% of the population was aware what digital migration actually entails and these are mainly persons in the urban areas," he noted.

Arineitwe was speaking on sidelines of the launch of the company's Christmas promotion that saw the price of its decoder reduce to Ush50,000 ($19) from the previous Ush60,000 ($23).

It also reduced the prices of all its hardware including the mobile TVs, LCD TVs, car TVs among others.

The company recently came under pressure for allegedly selling the 'wrong' decoders at a reduced rate without informing their customers. Arineitwe however says that most of the company's revenue comes from subscription and that reducing the price of the decoders is a sure way of attracting more subscribers.

On a similar note, Multichoice Uganda, also recently announced their Christmas package that saw reductions in subscription and hardware prices.

The company gave a 10% discount to customers who make payments before their subscription expires.

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