Infomir comes to the continent of Africa
AfricaCast, the third continental exhibition of TV technologies and equipment, took place on November 12–14 in Capetown, South Africa. The exposition presented by technology suppliers was accompanied by a conference program. Apart from detailed analysis of technical and financial issues for DTT projects in Africa, niche questions were discussed including real life challenges for digital broadcast deployment in Namibia, OTT development prospects, mobile TV, and Triple Play, a multichannel broadcast technology.
Direct communication with African broadcast market players showed that they are even more interested in developing local infrastructure which is taking its first steps: cable laying, satellite TV, satellite Internet, etc. From talks with other exhibition participants and exponents, it became clear that the country welcomes its first investment projects of major telecom operators. The projects are aimed at deployment of high quality broadband networks with solid architecture which will offer affordable rates for web access across the country. For now, affordable rates can be found only in Kenya. And they are about twice as high for the rest of Africa, exhibition visitors explained to Infomir.
The organizers offered a small separate zone for the IPTV exposition where Infomir’s booth was co-located together with several other companies. The Ukrainian supplier traditionally demonstrated a series of provider-class STBs for IPTV-based services and the proprietary Stalker Middleware for STB network provisioning and managing. Visitors of AfricaCast learned more about the MAG250 Micro entry-level model, and its modernised version MAG255 Micro with a more powerful media processor, additional RAM and the HDMI 1.4a interface. Other technologies and solutions were exhibited, too.
The companies presenting African telecom market were mostly interested in hybrid solutions (DVB-T/T2). Traditional STBs for IPTV services are not so popular here due the lack of solid broadband infrastructure. Further market activities of Infomir are clear for the region: the company will be committed to satisfy the demand for hybrid solutions in a flexible and reliable way. Visitors of Infomir’s booth were also interested in free proprietary middleware successfully used by providers all over the world. One more collaboration offer came from a system integrator deploying a ready-made comprehensive solution for providing IPTV services. The local company proposed to integrate MAG STBs into its future projects.
After talks with Infomir delegation, prospective customers were positively impressed by the company’s long history, its experience in the telecom industry, and a global reputation as a high quality manufacturer and a reliable partner.
Our impressions from the regional industry event and feedback from other exhibition participants confirm that this year the regional telecom market switched from pure off-site interest in broadband technologies to some practical steps for their implementation in Africa. Experts predict a boom of modern content distribution technologies here with further interactive TV uprise in two years or so.
Infomir is glad to bring its technologies and solutions to future-oriented regional operators now when the market only starts to shape and is not ‘over-exposed’ to numerous offers and a variety of providers. The autumn show season confirms that Africa is the most promising region for the next few years. Infomir is considering a possibility to take part in more industry exhibitions and shows covering other parts of Africa.