By BRIAN HATYOKA and MUNAMBEZA MUWANEI –
MULTICHOICE Zambia has apologised over the GOtv channel black-out experienced in Livingstone and Solwezi and assured subscribers the signal will be restored in the two towns today.
Thousands of GOtv subscribers in Livingstone and Solwezi have had no signal to the digital pay television platform for the last two weeks.
MultiChoice Africa general manager corporate affairs Caroline Creasy, who apologised over the blackout at a media briefing in Livingstone on Wednesday afternoon, said engineers from were on the ground to rectify the problem in the two towns.
Ms Creasy said engineers had sorted out the problem in Solwezi and they were expected to restore the network in Livingstone today.
“This is the first time we have experienced such a problem where the regulator, Zambia Information and Communications Technology (ZICTA) gave out our frequencies to another operator.
“We have been given other frequencies. We are engaging ZICTA and other stakeholders in Zambia to secure the future of our business. However, we sincerely apologise to our clients for the blackout,” Ms Creasy said.
She also declined to state how much money MultiChoice Zambia had lost as a result of the blackout.
“ZICTA confirmed they gave our signals to another operator and they allocated us a different frequency.
“The engineers came back from Solwezi and they are now working in Livingstone. We are doing everything possible to have the signal restored,” she said.
MultiChoice Zambia public relations manager Mwika Malindima said Gotv had been running two frequencies to provide the service to clients and the frequencies had been running smoothly since 2011 until two weeks ago.
Mr Malindima said GOtv subscribers would be compensated for the inconvenience caused over the last two weeks.
Scores of subscribers stormed the GOtv offices in Livingstone recently and demanded that the channels be restored or their subscription fee be refunded.
Meanwhile, Southern Province Minister Edify Hamukale has launched the TopStar Digital Terrestrial Transmission (DTT) tower covering a radius of 100km in Choma.
Speaking during the launch of the tower situated near the new provincial administration block, Dr Hamukale said the tower had brought latest digital terrestrial transmission to the district.
“Choma as the provincial capital has seen rapid development because Government’s intention is not to leave no-one behind when it comes to national development,” he said.
He expressed confidence that residents across the province would continue to benefit from affordable content offered by TopStar.
Dr Hamukale appealed to TopStar management to include more educational channels to improve performance of pupils in the province.
Top Star Chief Executive Officer Leo Liao said the technology that was installed at the transmission tower was of international standards.
Mr Leo said the community in Choma would have access digital broadcasting with many channels and clear picture.