Zambia's TopStar targets national coverage by December

7 April 2017

Technology & Convergence

As part of its digital migration strategy, Zambia's new digital television company TopStar plans to secure signal coverage in all of the Southern African country's ten provinces by December this year. Director of Sales and Marketing at TopStar, Cliff Sichone said that so far TopStar's signal covers all cities along the line of rail.

"TopStar currently has 15 local television stations available and 10 international stations. Our aim is to have coverage of the signal in 10 provincial centres by December this year," Sichone said.

The Chinese-owned TV company is rolling out top set boxes for digital television across the country and has entered into a digital migration-focused joint venture with the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC).

TopStar CEO Leo Liao said Chinese experts are already in Zambia to help with the migration process.

Speaking to the Parliamentary Committee on Information and Broadcasting Services that visited the company last week, Liao also said 98% of the company's workforce will be Zambians.

The government has borrowed US$273 million from China for the second and third phases of the country's digital migration project. Phase one of the project has been implemented.

The joint venture will facilitate the rollout of TopStar branded top set boxes and according to agreed upon terms, TopStar will collect all ZNBC advertising and tower rental revenue for next 25 years.

Revenue collected will be used to service a loan acquired by the government from the Export, Import Bank of China for investment in the digital broadcasting network and provincial studios.

The company intends to open more branches in Choma, Kabwe and Kitwe in April, in addition to the existing three outlets in Lusaka in order to service more customers.
Source: ITWeb Africa 4 April 2017