GatesAir supplying transmitters for Nigerian switchover

GatesAir CEO Phil Argyris at the Abuja transmitter site

GatesAir CEO Phil Argyris at the Abuja transmitter site

TV transmission technology provider GatesAir is providing transmitters for Nigeria’s ongoing digital switchover project, the second phase of which kicked off with digital transmissions going live in the capital Abuja on December 22.

GatesAir and Nigerian partner Pinnacle Communications completed the build-out and launch of the DVB-T2 transmission system serving the Federal Capital Territory covering Abuja in three months, starting in September.

The pair were commissioned to build the system by the Nigerian National Broadcasting Commission. GatesAir provided main and backup Maxiva ULXT liquid-cooled transmitters, the DVB-T2 headend and RF systems.

The Abuja service provides 30 news, information and entertainment channels. The Nigerian government has distributed some 450,000 set-top boxes to support the switchover.

A pilot phase of the switchover project was launched in Jos in Plataeu State in April.

Pinnacle Communications will work with GatesAir on future launches, and anticipates a total of 70 additional RF sites for national coverage. The next phase, targeted for completion in June 2017, is expected to cover six states from each of Nigeria’s geo-political zones.

The ITU has set a deadline of June to complete switchover, which the Nigerian government is committed to meeting.

“GatesAir accelerated delivery of the ULXT transmission system and DVB-T2 headend to support the launch of two program multiplexes, which was an enormous help to meeting this deadline,” said Sir Lucky Omoluwa, Chairman, Pinnacle Communications. “GatesAir worked closely with Pinnacle Communications and Nigerian stakeholders to architect the most efficient configuration, ensuring the complete ecosystem is consistent. Viewers within the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja ultimately benefit with 30 free-to-air channels.”