Problems with Zambia’s DTT switchover
September 25, 2013
By Chris Forrester
Zambia has been forced to alter its plans for its analogue to digital TV switchover. Zambia’s Ministry of Information & Broadcasting Services had issued a tender in 2011 and had awarded the complete task earlier this year to StarTimes Group (via its Star Software Technology Company subsidiary).
At the time Pang Xin Xing, StarTimes chairman said the awarding of the contract by the Zambian government “sets the pace to accelerate Zambia’s terrestrial digital migration by the stipulated deadline of 2015. We will bring our expertise in terrestrial digital migration to Zambia at par with China and many other African countries where we have a successful track record,” he added.
That contract has now been scrubbed with local reports alleging irregularities in the way the tender was handled. The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Emmanuel Mwamb says he has taken the advice of Zambia’s Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) which recommended a review and cancellation under the Public Procurement Regulations of 2011. The ZPPA had received appeals from two unsuccessful bidders for the original contract.
The Ministry has decide to split the original tender into four parts covering civil works, studios, network and consultancy services. Mwamb said he remained confident of still meeting the ITU’s June 2015 switch-off deadline.