With a presence in more than 30 African countries, StarTimes Group, one of the biggest Chinese multinational digital television companies, is set to dominate the entire continent with its affordable monthly subscription plans.
It should be recalled that for decades now Africans have been moaning over the continuous increase in monthly subscription costs by service providers of digital television services.
After many years of development, StarTimes has become the most capable system integrator, technology provider, network operator and content provider in China’s television broadcasting industry. StarTimes aims to become a media group with a global influence.
Today, StarTimes is the leading digital-TV operator in Africa, covering 90 percent of the continent’s population with a massive distribution network of 200 brand halls, 3,000 convenience stores and 5,000 distributors.
StarTimes owns a featured content platform, with 440 authorized channels, consisting of news, movies, series, sports, entertainment, children’s programs, fashion, religion etc.
Since 2002, StarTimes vision of the future has been “to ensure that every African family can access, afford, watch and share the beauty of digital TV.”
StarTimes achieves this by combining satellite and terrestrial DTV systems to provide an open and secure digital wireless platform. The company provides a robust signal transmission service for public and private broadcasters, which offers consumers outstanding Pay-TV programs, mobile multimedia and wireless internet connectivity.
In an interview with the Vice President of StarTimes Guo Ziqi, she disclosed that their intention is to ensure that over 10,000 villages in Africa get access to DTV at an affordable price.
She explained that presently Africa is their main market, disclosing that for villages where there is no electricity they have made provision for solar DTV sets that will enable the people gain access to their services.
The vice president disclosed that their current monthly rate across Africa is less than US$5, which makes it the cheapest in the world.
Guo disclosed that their company can assist countries seeking concessional loans to transform their system from analogue to digital, as the country only needs to request for the loan which will be repaid by StarTimes after setting up operations through minimal deductions from the monthly subscription.
She stated that they have channels carrying children educational programs, women programs, health issues and even traditional African programs that will be produced by the locals.