SES and Samsung make FTA thrust in Africa

Samsung and SES are to partner to provide free satellite TV services for six countries in Africa. In an effort to drive digitalisation, the free service will be available on high-end Samsung LED TVs, and will provide access to 60 free-to-air TV channels (30 English and 30 French). The TVs are fitted with built-in satellite tuners and, therefore, do not require a separate decoder.

Samsung believes satellite is driving digitalisation, and as a result, the company has signed a deal with satellite operator SES (which already covers 40 African countries) to provide the new service in supported regions, reported ITWeb, a Cape Town web-site.

Senior director of marketing development and marketing for Africa at SES, Christoph Limmer, says: “The opportunity lies in providing a growing sophisticated African viewership with a significantly increased number of TV channels – a first for many African countries.”

The six countries in which the service will initially be available include Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Ghana. The service will become available in Q3, and Samsung says it will add new channels and more regions in the following year.

According to Samsung, in Sub-Saharan Africa one in three homes have a TV set, with less than 10 per cent with access to digital TV. Samsung’s director of consumer electronics for West Africa, Sunil Kumar, says it is important for products not to only “survive Africa”, but to be “built for Africa” specifically.

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