Wednesday, September 21, 2011

BREAKING. For DTT the South African government wants a 'consortium' of local manufacters to make set top boxes (STBs).

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The South African government, specifically the department of communications tasked with overseeing and spearheading the process of digital terrestrial television (DTT) in South Africa which is lagging behind, now finally has a manufacturing strategy for set top boxes (STBs).

South Africa's estimated 11 million TV households will need to buy a STB estimated at R700 or more (add R31 or $4 for STB Control and a possible encryption system) when South Africa's broadcasting industry switches from an analogue to a digital system, known as ''digital migration''.

Roy Padayachie, the minister of communications, told parliament's portfolio committee on communications that ''there will be a process of tendering'' regarding companies who would get the right to manufacture STBs. The government is still set on having STBs manufactured locally to enable work creation.

''We are looking to put together a consortium – a group of manufacturers who have the ability to come into a quota based system in which they will get allocated a certain amount of STBs to manufacture – they will be selected,'' Roy Padayachie said.

''Right now there's about between 4 to 6 manufacturers who can make STBs and have the plant capacity, machinery, workers, and IT and can meet the requirement that we have specified in the policy that STB's must be manufactured locally,'' he said.

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