Ugandan set-top box sales reach 700,000 since digital switch
Ugandan television firms have recorded a rise in subscriber numbers through the sale of set-top boxes (decoders) despite several legal hurdles surrounding the commencement of digital broadcasting. About 700,000 free-to-air set-top boxes have been sold since the onset of digital transmission about a month ago, according to Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), New Vision reported.
There are 25 vendors licensed by the UCC to distribute set-top boxes/decoders according to specified standards for the device. Fred Otunnu of the UCC said despite the petitions and setbacks in rolling out the new technology, the process is irreversible. Uganda has about 4 million TV households, of which fewer than 1 million are connected to pay-TV stations, according to UCC.
Aldrine Nsubuga, the marketing director of Star Times, said the petitioners seeking to stop digital migration have a right, but their petition has been overtaken by events. Nsubuga said Star Times have so far sold close to 90,000 free-to-air decoders, mainly in Kampala, in the one month since the switch.
Tina Wamala, DSTV Uganda public relations manager, described the rise in sales as "literally overwhelming" since the pay-TV company commenced a promotional campaign that coincided with the switch to digital.