Startimes to Expand Coverage to 8 More Locations in Kenya Before Year End

StarTimes has announced plans to expand its coverage to 8 more locations in the country in the next 6 months. Among the locations targeted for coverage before the end of the year include Kapenguria, Naivasha, Machakos, Nanyuki and Embu.

Samuel Mburu, DVBT2 Maintenance Engineer at Pan African Network Group (PANG) which operates the StarTimes payTV brand, said the Chinese firm is currently doing site acquisition.

“We want to expand our coverage and connectivity in the remaining part of the year to 8 new locations. Right now we’re doing site acquisition by working with different firms. The target locations are Kapenguria, Naivasha, Machakos, Nanyuki and Embu in the first phase. After we roll out in these locations, we’ll monitor how our signal quality is before we can then move to the other sites,” said Mburu.

The targeted areas were chosen for various reasons, one being population.

“One of the reasons for choosing the areas is because of the population and second is because during Phase 1 and 2 of the digital migration exercise, the regulator didn’t look and focus on these areas as much. Again, expanding coverage to Kapengauria extends the signal to adjacent areas like Kitale, the same case with Naivasha and Embu,” said Mburu, who also doubles up as PANG’s Assistant Technical Manager.

StarTimes coverage currently stretches along the railway line from Mombasa to Kisumu and subscribers can choose which technology to use to access the signal – either DTT or DTH – depending on the location.

“The people who reside in locations which are still not covered by the signal can use the DTH services and when you visit these locations, you’ll find that most people still have the dishes but they’ll soon be later to access the signal via DTT. We also try to have the content in the platforms, an example being the Nova bouquet which’s available in both DTH and DTT,” he said.

Currently, StarTimes has 14 DTT sites but targets to have 7 more sites by the end of the year to boost its coverage area and gain increased market share like its closest rival, Multichoice’s GOtv.

In mid last StarTimes announced that it would spend about Kshs 6.9 billion in Kenya to put up the group’s Africa headquarters as well as Dubbing Center for Film and Broadcast Television which is expected to be complete by end of this year.

“Since establishing our operations in Kenya, we have found a cordial operating environment that has facilitated the growth of our business. The Kenyan subscribers have equally shown an insatiable appetite for affordable digital television service, this has seen increased uptake of our service which has gone a long way in giving us confidence to set up our Africa operations in the country,” said Pang Xinxing, President, PANG Group during the groundbreaking ceremony.