Free-to-view broadcaster e-tv Limited says it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with state owned transmission provider, Sentech, to provide signal distribution for its digital terrestrial television (DTT) services.
E-tv was granted a minimum of 50% of a DTT multiplex in terms of the regulations issued in December 2012 by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa).
This will enable the company to launch multiple new channels on the DTT platform, it said.
Group CEO of e.tv, Marcel Golding said: “We are pleased to have entered into this MoU with Sentech. Sentech has invested significantly in the national DTT rollout and has developed a considered vision for the future of free-to-air television on all platforms.”
“This MoU ensures that we are able to move quickly to launch our new channels when the performance period for digital migration is announced.”
Sentech CEO, Dr Setumo Mohapi said: “This is a significant milestone in terms of the country’s Broadcasting Digital Migration (BDM) Policy.”
“The industry is now a step closer to ensuring that the country will meet the commitments it made to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to switch-off analogue television broadcasting services by June 2015.”
E-tv said it currently uses Sentech to provide national terrestrial distribution of its existing analogue channel.
The analogue transmission of the main e.tv channel will continue during the “dual illumination” period until all television households have migrated to the digital platform, allowing the analogue service to be switched off.
South Africa is unlikely to make a 2015 deadline for DTT switch-over, with the tender for the manufacturing of set-top boxes (STBs) yet to be issued.