Pan-African satellite pay-TV provider, Multichoice is expected to launch an internet connected decoder by end of the first quarter of 2013. This comes after Samsung introduced a television set with free channels in Africa early this year. The decoder “will increase capacity for DStv’s “Catch Up” content from 20 hours to 175 hours.”

The Korean electronics giant, Samsung signed a deal with satellite operator SES to provide up to 60 free-to-air TV channels through their new high-end LED TV sets with in-built satellite decoders. This many considered a threat to Multichoice’s monopoly in Africa.

Early this week, SES SA announced that the ASTRA 2F satellite had successfully completed its in-orbit testing and would now be operational for commercial service.

The multi-mission satellite built by Astrium in Toulouse using a Eurostar E3000 platform will carry Ku-band and Ka-band payloads for the delivery of high-performance DTH and broadband services in Africa and Europe.

The Samsung LED TV offer free satellite TV through two satellites-Astra 2A for French speaking countries and Astra 4B for English speaking countries in Africa. This represents a fraction of the technological inventions that have been ongoing in the continent. Foreign firms have also made way in Africa to capture a share of the lucrative market.

According to research, Sub-Saharan African countries spent an average of just 0.3% of their GDP on Science and Technology (S&T) in 2007. This represents an increase from US$1.8bn in 2002 to US$2.8bn in 2007. North African countries spent 0.4% of GDP on S&T, an increase from US$2.6bn in 2002 to US$3.3bn in 2007. This represents an increase of 50% in spending in S&T in Africa. South Africa is the sole exception. South Africa spends 0.87% of GDP on S&T.

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Kenya Engineer is the definitive publication of Engineers in East Africa & beyond and the official journal of the Institution of Engineers of Kenya. Kenya Engineer has been in publication since 1972.

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