GatesAir, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for TV and radio broadcasters, continues its long-standing business relationship with the Republic of Ivory Coast through a turnkey equipment and services contract to support the African country’s national digital TV (DTV) network. The first phase consists of seven transmitter sites to cover the city of Abidjan and the next six largest cities, with the Abidjan site providing DTV services to 30 percent of the country. The subsequent six sites will expand DTV services to approximately 80 percent of the country, with 100 percent coverage expected by 2020.
The turnkey equipment package for phase one includes 21 GatesAir Maxiva UAXTE air-cooled, high-efficiency UHF transmitters in redundant configurations to ensure a continuous on-air presence. Each of the seven sites includes three transmitters along with DVB-T2 headend equipment, antennas and towers, and can support three programming multiplexes (one government, and two private). The government multiplex, featuring seven channels of programming, is now on the air, with the private multiplexes to follow. Each multiplex will deliver multiple channels of DTV programming and rich data services, including electronic program guides.
The Ivory Coast DVB-T2 network is GatesAir’s ninth DTV transition project in Africa, strengthening its position as the market-leading over-the-air vendor on the continent. GatesAir has recently supported transitions in Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda. GatesAir’s success in managing these transitions, including adherence to challenging delivery timelines, was essential to securing the contract. GatesAir’s strong customer service reputation, high-efficiency transmission technology, and global leadership in complex, national DTV transitions also played substantial roles in the decision.
“The digital transition is very important for the Ivorian population as it opens the television space more than ever before,” said Bruno N’Doua, Director of Studies and Development, Société Ivoirienne de Télédiffusion (IDT). “These populations will now have the option to watch seven channels to start, whereas before there were only two channels available. This will change the viewing habits of Ivorians, and is a major step forward in the liberalization of the audiovisual space. This is not the first time the Ivory Coast has worked with GatesAir. They were formerly known as Harris, and their transmitters have helped us provide high-quality distribution of TV programs for at least 15 years. Therefore, we already knew the robustness of GatesAir equipment, and it is an immense pleasure to work with GatesAir again.”
The selection of GatesAir’s Maxiva UAXTE transmitters will provide several performance benefits and long-term cost savings for IDT. The UAXTE’s high-efficiency design (based on GatesAir’s PowerSmart Plus architecture) will reduce utility bills network-wide — a substantial operational benefit given Ivory Coast’s high electricity costs. Maintenance is simplified through the transmitter’s modular design, which allows IDT’s engineering team to use common, spare parts across the entire network. Dual power supplies, hot-swappable PA modules and other PowerSmart Plus design attributes further strengthen on-air reliability.
GatesAir partnered with African Union Communications for headend systems, and with regional partner STA, based in the Ivory Coast, for towers, antennas and transmission shelters. GatesAir will also work closely with STA across all installation, commissioning and ongoing maintenance services, as well as training, service and support initiatives.
“GatesAir will bring nearly 100 years of global over-the-air broadcast expertise to support Ivory Coast’s national DTV transition, and deliver exceptional picture quality with reliable service to the population,” said Bruce D. Swail, CEO, GatesAir. “We will also ensure the lowest total cost of ownership to IDT through reduced energy consumption, streamlined maintenance, and local service and support. We thank IDT and the Republic of Ivory Coast for trusting in GatesAir, and look forward to supporting future DTV transitions throughout Africa.”