Cheseaux, Switzerland –September 9, 2014 – SmarDTV, a Kudelski Group (SIX:KUD.S) company, today announced a cooperation with Azam Media to develop CI+ conditional access modules (CAM) for its AzamTV (DTH) service currently in Tanzania and then across East Africa.
This collaboration reflects Tanzania’s growing demand for mass TV offerings that is hampered by limited terrestrial broadcast coverage (24% of population) following the recent analogue-to-digital switch over.
SmarDTV modules embed the latest generation of the NAGRA conditional access system, ensuring the highest security for Pay-TV contents. Channels are directly accessible on integrated Digital Televisions (iDTVs) with the existing TV remote control. SCART, HDMI cables or extra power leads are no longer needed.
This announcement follows the recent news that NAGRA’s conditional access was selected by AzamTV, whose pay-TV service in Tanzania has seen a spectacular growth in the first half of this year making it the fastest growing pay-TV operator in East Africa with a confirmed plan to expand to the rest of East Africa starting in Uganda and Kenya as of September.
“Demand for better entertainment channels and programs is on the rise in sub-Saharan Africa. iDTVs combined with modules is a fantastic way to accelerate access to pay-TV and encourage customers to take up digital TV services,” says Rhys Torrington, Azam Media CEO. “With this proven technology solution, we would be able to provide Tanzanians with high-quality value-added services and offer more opportunities for viewers in East Africa to enjoy television, plus everything that a digital service has to offer.”
“Tanzania is rapidly moving to digital TV and AzamTV is rapidly emerging as the leading DTH platform,” said Jerome Vial, SmarDTV VP of Sales. “A conditional access module offers a plug-and-play, cost-efficient, very simple to install and a flexible solution that will enhance AzamTV services with a new device. We welcomed the first arrival of IDTV with Common Interface slots on the African continent last year and we are excited to enable AzamTV to benefit from this technology.”
About Azam Media Limited
Azam Media Limited is a subsidiary of the Bakhresa Group which is one of the leading industrial houses in Tanzania with turnover of more than USD 600 million. It operates across the food and beverage sector, packaging, logistics, marine passenger services and owns the Vodacom Premier League champions, Azam FC. Azam Media was founded early in 2013.
The AzamTV pay-DTH platform was launched in Tanzania on December 16th 2013, offering a mixture of 56 pay and free-to-air channels via Eutelsat 7B for under $10 per month. The platform includes three home-grown channels – Azam One, Azam Two and Sinema Zetu (Kiswahili movie channel) – and has the international rights to broadcast live and recorded Vodacom Premier League football matches.
Building on its operation in Tanzania, AzamTV plans to expand its footprint to attract a total of 750,000 subscribers by the end of 2018. The service in Uganda has also been launched on 4th September 2014, and will swiftly be followed by Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, Malawi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, and Sierra Leone. Please visit www.azamtv.com for more information.
SmarDTV, a Kudelski Group company, is an international leader in pay television technology. SmarDTV designs and manufactures a large range of set-top box solutions and CI / CI Plus plug-in modules which enable access to premium digital pay-TV whether delivered through broadcast or broadband IP. A founding member of CI Plus Forum, SmarDTV is headquartered in Switzerland with development and sales offices in France, Germany, USA, China, and Singapore. Please visit www.smardtv.com for more information.
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Note to the editors
SmarCAM is a module relying on the DVB Common Interface (DVB-CI) and CI Plus standards, that plugs directly in the digital TV to decrypt premium pay-TV content. It’s a non-intrusive solution, very simple to install as it does not require any new wires and is invisible once setup. It is operated directly from the TV set’s remote control to maximize the ease of use, no additional remote control is required. These modules are very power-efficient, for a lower environmental impact.
CI Plus is a technical specification that adds additional security and features to the proven DVB Common Interface Standard that will allow CI Plus compatible consumer electronic devices, such as integrated Digital Televisions and Set-Top Boxes, to access a wide range of pay-TV services via plug-in CI Plus Modules wherever the CI Plus technology is supported by the local pay-TV Provider. More information on CI Plus (specification, implementation guideline, license agreement) is available at www.ci-plus.com.