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Fight for control of Zambia's digital TV market intensifies

Fight for control of Zambia's digital TV market intensifies

With the October deadline for digital broadcasting switchover in Zambia fast approaching, operators GOtv and China's TopStar Communication have announced price reductions on set top boxes.

Battle for the control of the country's digital television market has heightened and both operators have said the reduction forms part of their commitment to supporting efforts to meet the digital migration deadline and encourage wider and more affordable access to digital broadcasting.

TopStar is a joint venture between the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) and StarTimes of China.

TopStar CEO Leo Liao said the company has reduced the cost of its set top boxes from K199 to K99 in order to ensure that all households own a decoder kit in time for the analogue switch off.

"Measures have been put in place to ensure dealers have enough stock to meet the demand as the K99 price would be maintained up to the end of the year so that no household is cut off when the deadline comes. This is part of our commitment to helping Zambia migrate to digital broadcasting," Liao said.

In response, MultiChoice acting CEO Recha Kabwe also announced a reduction in the cost of GOtv decoders from K360 to K199 with one month free subscription.

Launched in 2011, also in partnership with ZNBC, Kabwe said the company has continued to work closely with the national broadcaster to ensure full participation in digital migration in order to allow citizens to acquire digital television.

"I want to remind Zambians that GOtv is already digital and so if you have a GOtv decoder, you will not need to buy any other decoder when the country makes a move to digital television," Kabwe said.

The Zambian government has set 1 October as the date for the complete switchover to digital broadcasting along the line of rail.

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