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Mozambique: over a million have access to digital television

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At least a million viewers already benefit from a digital television signal in Mozambique, according to Victor Mbebe, chairperson of TMT, the publicly owned company that controls the digital TV network.

Those receiving a digital signal pay for it through a range of television and internet distribution companies, while others benefit from TMT’s open signal platform, through which Mozambican TV channels can be accessed at no cost.

Speaking to reporters in the central city of Beira, where President Filipe Nyusi switched on the digital television signal and inaugurated the Sofala Provincial Television Centre, Mbebe said that TMT has to date distributed 110,000 decoders, and a further 300,000 are available and should be distributed by the end of 2021. A decoder is going for 1,200 meticais (about 17 US dollars, at current exchange rates). Once the decoder is set up, there are no further costs – at least, if the viewer only wants to watch Mozambican channels.

“The difference between TMT and the other operators”, said Mbebe, “is that ours is an open signal platform that allows viewers access to all Mozambican channels free of charge. Currently 18 Mozambican channels are available on the TMT platform.”

The centre consists of a transmission network with 60 transmitters; the rehabilitation and equipping of the TVM studios; and the TVM production centre and the headquarters of TMT. There is also a generator and a fuel tank that can hold 2,000 litres of diesel. This is enough to provide the centre with electricity for ten days.

Prior to digitalisation, the public network consisted of 50 transmitters, some owned by TVM, and some by the government’s Mass Communications Institute (ICS). Since these were small transmitters, the network could only cover 50 per cent of the Mozambican population.

With the new network, with 60 far more powerful transmitters, the digital signal is expected to reach 70 per cent of the population.

Liberty Pazvakawambwa SADC News

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