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Nigeria’s NBC taps Paywizard for digital switchover

NBC_logoNigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and broadcast and OTT technology company, Inview, have selected Paywizard to support the country’s digital TV switchover project.

Paywizard will manage customer data, subscriptions and billing for the switchover – including voucher code and scratchcard transactions – using its AgileXtra subscriber management platform.

The platform will be integrated with Inview’s set-top boxes and Nagra’s conditional access system. Paywizard will also provide Inview with contact centre support, service automation and “DTT and digital switchover insight”.

“While the pay TV market across Africa is growing rapidly and demand is high, the switchover process is challenging. We were looking to work with proven partners, such as Paywizard and Inview, who have lots of experience and industry knowledge to guide us as we move towards going digital,” said Emeka Mba, director general of NBC Nigeria.

Inview chairman, Nick Markham, added that vouchers are the “obvious route of pre-payment” for subscribers to easily pay for the digital access fee that NBC Nigeria plans to introduce.

“We’ve worked with Paywizard on a number of opportunities across the world, predominantly in the DTT and digital switchover market and with the complexities of a market such as Nigeria; they were the obvious choice of partner to work with us,” said Markham.

Nigeria failed to meet the official deadline for for switchover from analogue to digital TV in June – a deadline that was agreed by member states of the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) at the Regional Radiocommunication Conference in 2006.

NBC Nigeria has now agreed a new deadline of June 20, 2017 in coordination with neighbouring states.

In September the broadcast commission granted MTN permission to provide digital-terrestrial pay TV services in Nigeria after the South African telco paid NGN34 billion (€149 million) to secure the licence. NBC said the MTN deal would provide just under 50% of the budget to finance the country’s digital switchover.