Firm gets license for digital switchover

The Office of the Regulator has issued a license to Samoa Digital Communication Limited to oversee Samoa’s switchover from analog to digital broadcasting systems.

The engagement of the company, which is owned by Fa’amausili Andrew Ah Liki, has been endorsed by the Cabinet.

The Regulator, Lefaoali’i Unutoa Auelua-Fonoti, officially handed over the license to Fa’amausili recently following the signing of documents.

Fa’amausili refused to comment when approached by Samoa Observer, saying a press release will be distributed as soon as materials arrive and the project gets underway.

“We were waiting for the green light and now it has finally happened,” he said.

In a post on the official Facebook page of the Office of the Regulator, the public were advised that the issuing of the license to Samoa Digital Communication Limited on October 3, 2018 paves the way for the establishment, installation, and use of the Single Platform Multiplexer and Network for Samoa’s Digital Terrestrial Television Project.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi announced last month that the Government will have a television channel dedicated to the broadcasting of initiatives such as public reforms, developments and projects including parliamentary sessions. The television channel is one of the components of the Digital TV initiative. 

As reported earlier, Lefaoali’i said the project had been in the pipeline for five years and involved extensive consultations with all the relevant stakeholders. 

“These sessions led to the development of a Digital TV Roadmap and a technical plan which outlined a solution suitable for Samoa. There were numerous assistance from the International Telecommunication Union (I.T.U.), in terms of advising our office on possible solutions to use for the Digital Platform and drawing the roadmap for the project.”

Lefaoali’i said as part of the upgrade to a digital broadcasting systems, a single multiplex will be construction to provide the platform for Digital TV according to Lefaoali’i. Tests will need to be done following its installation to ensure all technical requirements were met. 

The benefits of upgrading to a digital system are immense, with Lefaoali’i saying it will boost the private sector in terms of marketing and giving exposure to Samoan creativity and innovation.  The upgrade also creates room for the encouragement of local content, and creation of material unique to Samoa with the regulator indicating that the digital TV services will have more channels.

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