Ghanaian-owned technology company, Rlg Limited has been awarded the contract to manufacture Set Top Boxes (STBs) for the country as the country inches closer to the final phase of its Digital Migration.
This follows the commencement of work on the local production of STBs in Ghana. The sale and distribution of approved Digital Terrestrial Television (DDT) Receivers and Decoders will be rolled out in the early part of this year ahead of the migration to the digital platform.
Government announced that Phase 1 of the multi-million-dollar Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) network project had already been completed in April 2016 and it included a central point located at Kanda where all digital television stations would connect their programmes.
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) gave member countries around the world up to 2016 to complete digital migration and already many nations have met the deadline. The United State of America completed digital migration in 2009 and most countries in Europe completed by 2012 while a few Africa countries including Rwanda and Tanzania have also migrated.
Analogue broadcasting occurs when the signal is in the form of a continuous wave, where digital is in the form discrete bits of information. In addition, the digital signal is encoded and can be compressed to allow for more channels to be broadcast. It improves programming and enhances efficiency within the digital framework.
Already, several local and international firms have positioned themselves to take up the huge economic, technical and business challenge offered by the project. One of such firms is device manufacturer, Rlg Communications Group. The company has been producing gadgets such as mobile phones, computers, blue tooth and others since 2006. The company will be producing STBs for Ghana for the first time but the second time in the sub-region where it possesses its track record in Set Top Box manufacturing.
In Nigeria, RLG successfully executed a contract which saw the production and supply of 150, 000,000 digital set-up boxes, for the pilot phase of the migration which was being executed by the Television Enterprises Limited, a subsidiary of the National Television Authority (NTA). It was subsequently contracted by other private entities to manufacture same products. The boxes are carefully designed and robust enough to withstand tropical conditions and are built with state-of-the-art technology.
That contract created jobs for many young Nigerians who underwent training in assembling, servicing, sales and installations among others.
From the first quarter of 2017, RLG will be expected to produce for the Ministry of Communications 600,000 STBs each month for the next one year. The boxes will bear Conformance DTT standard logo affixed on them. The contract execution is expected to be done within the broader framework of the new government’s policy of job creation and will therefore be geared towards the creation of jobs for some 5,000 people directly, mainly youth with technological and business skills aside another 5,000 auxiliary jobs.
The company sources say aside the MOC consignment; it is considering commercialising some of the products which may require the opening of production outlets in some districts and regions in the context of the new government’s ‘one factory per district’ policy.