As at 28 March 2013, SENTECH had recorded an 80.43% DTT population coverage, thus exceeding the targeted 80% coverage; four days before the deadline. This was achieved though the installation of 62 additional sites mostly located in rural areas.
When the Company achieved the targeted 60% population coverage on the DVB-T2 standard on 31 March 2013, it was acknowledged that the network rollout was based on the design for launch that was conceptualised in 2006. SENTECH then committed that going forward; the Company would implement a provincial rollout geared at providing coverage at equal measures to both rural and urban areas.
Cognisant of the above, the 80% network rollout then focused more on the country’s rural areas. It must be noted that a project of this nature comprises of many complexities such as site location, weather conditions, road conditions, mast heights and the availability of skilled resources. Therefore, whilst 47 sites were upgraded to achieve 60%; an upgrade of 62 more sites was required to attain the 80% target.
Some of the challenges experienced included:
- Requirement to rehabilitate access road after heavy rains in Limpopo;
- Securing of resources that were in high demand as many African countries are presently
- implementing DTT networks; and
- Ensuring that the rollout does not impact on the existing analogue network and other SENTECH business commitments.
Amidst these and other challenges, the team’s tireless dedication, commitment and relentless ensured the target is attained [actually exceed] to the 31 March deadline.
Full provincial rollout, comprising of 88% terrestrial and 12% via satellite transmission will be attained by 31 March 2014.