Solar TV’s arrive in Rwanda
February 19, 2013No Comments
Star Africa Media, a Chinese pay television service provider will, by the end of this year, introduce the first Solar and digital TV sets that will enable Rwandans to access digital TV signals especially in rural areas lacking electricity.
The Complete Solar TV set contains a solar panel- that is mounted on a rooftop, an LED TV (12inch or 32inch) a battery, a Power Investor- which also has many ports for charging, USB connections, and a lamp.
The New multipurpose device will especially be important to areas which don’t have access to electricity and at the same time contribute to the Ministry of ICT project- “Tunga TV” – which aims at enabling all Rwandans to have access digital TV signals.
“The whole package will be charged for not more than $400, and that good thing is the user will have a solar panel mounted on the set, the users will also not only access solar TV, but also connect other power gadgets like charges and radios” says Hussein Kamanzi, the Branding &Communication official at Star-Africa Media.
Kamanzi also says that new device will be distributed at good deals, within the target groups- suchs cooperatives, associations, community centers, savings schemes(umwalimu sacco) among others
So far the Solar TV has been tested and installed at the Ministry of ICT offices in Kigali, demonstrated out in the remote countryside (such as Rulindo district) and the will be showcased in other areas of the country.
“We are ready to launch this new TV device, and already most people in the rural areas are demanding for it. Once we have all the arrangements with the government, we will be ready to get the TV set to communities at a better bargain” he said.
Tunga TV programme aims to provide viable options to commercialize the Digital TV Broadcasting infrastructure and increase TV penetration in Rwanda. It recommends that a Public Private Partnership (PPP) be established with a domestic solution integrator that is experienced, and has efficient and effective capabilities to handle smoothly the analog to digital TV migration.
The programme also recommends strategies that will ensure a wider access to TV at Umudugudu level through public TVs and increasing affordability of digital receiving devices (Digital TV sets and Set-top boxes) in order to achieve a greater nationwide TV penetration.
Since 2008, the Government of Rwanda initiated the Digital TV Broadcasting project that deployed digital TV transmitters with the aim of improving TV nationwide coverage hence satisfying citizens’ rights of “access to information”. Currently, the digital television signal covers more than 95% of the nation’s physical territory.
However, there is still a relatively low household TV penetration, which is attributed to several factors, including: the low coverage of the existing analog broadcasting signal; the lack of Set Top Boxes required to view channels broadcasted in the digital TV transmission network; limited supply of steady electricity, especially in the rural areas; lack of quality content in local language which would satisfy needs and interests of ordinary citizens; and relatively high costs of TV sets (especially for the people with limited income).
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