South Africa invites bids for digital terrestrial TV spectrum | Broadcast | News | Rapid TV News
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Private broadcasters in South Africa are being invited to apply for multiplexer (MUX) 3 digital terrestrial television (DTT) spectrum.

ICASA logo 5 Jan 2018The country’s communications regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), said the successful applicant will be assigned 45% of MUX 3 capacity to launch an additional commercial subscription pay-TV DTT service.

Naspers-owned MultiChoice is already licensed to offer digital terrestrial pay-TV services, and launched its GOtv service in South Africa in February 2016. The operator prices set-top boxes for the DTT service at ZAR699, with packages ranging from ZAR45 per quarter for its Lite option, or ZAR99 per month for GOtv Value.

ICASA’s criteria states the applicant must be a television broadcasting service licensee, as defined in the Promotion of Diversity and Competition on Digital Terrestrial Television Regulations, and have a minimum of 30% ownership held by historically disadvantaged person(s), or have a level 4 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) status.

Applicants must provide proof of funding to meet the DTT service’s proposed launch date. The licensee must also use the assigned radio frequencies within two years of the spectrum licence being granted.

Once a launch date has been set, the successful applicant will have two years to roll out 50% of the distribution network for the licensed spectrum. It must also ensure that the appointed signal distributor for its 45% of MUX 3 capacity distributes the remaining 55% to free-to-air TV broadcasters. This must be done without prejudice, through a commercial arrangement, says ICASA who will license the additional free-to-air broadcasters to be given access to the remaining capacity of MUX.

Applications for the commercial digital terrestrial pay-TV licence must be submitted to ICASA by 25 January 2018.