GatesAir Wins DTV Transition Project In Ethiopia

GatesAir has been awarded a contract to provide turnkey equipment and services associated with Ethiopia’s national digital TV network. In support of the contract, GatesAir will design, supply, install, test and commission a DVB-T2 over-the-air network solution for 26 new transmission sites, and upgrade systems at 74 existing facilities. In addition, GatesAir will provide a financing solution through one of the world’s most prominent financial institutions, J.P Morgan, with support from Export Development Canada (EDC).

The project will provide state-of-the-art DTV capabilities and services for the people of Ethiopia. The turnkey equipment package includes two GatesAir Maxiva liquid-cooled, high-efficiency UHF transmitters at each of new 26 new sites, along with DVB-T2 headend equipment, satellite uplinks, antennas and towers. The system will, among other tasks, support delivery of 20 channels of TV programming and rich data services, including electronic program guides, on behalf of INSA, Information Network Security Agency.

The Ethiopian DVB-T2 project is GatesAir’s latest in a string of DTV transition projects across Africa, including networks in Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Togo. GatesAir has long supported wireless over-the-air TV and radio delivery across Ethiopia, with an especially strong presence in powering national and regional AM radio broadcasts. Its knowledge of Ethiopia and global leadership in complex, national DTV transitions were essential to securing the contract.

“I am particularly pleased by the signing of the GatesAir contract with the Government of Ethiopia to digitize the EBC television system,” said U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Patricia Haslach. “It is a great example of how U.S. companies bring superb quality, low-cost technology, and turnkey equipment, services and training to the people of Ethiopia. GatesAir, formerly Harris Broadcast, has a 50-year history of working with and serving the people of Ethiopia. GatesAir was the lowest cost and most technically qualified bidder for this tender, and will now have an opportunity to deliver outstanding service. The selection of GatesAir will capitalize on American know-how in digitization and television technology, in order to achieve Deputy Prime Minister Debretsion’s plan to fast-track digital television broadcasting in Ethiopia. Furthermore, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) will provide a training grant of $600,000 for capacity-building in Ethiopia, accentuating the positive impact of the Embassy’s new Foreign Commercial Service.”

The company said selection of GatesAir’s Maxiva liquid-cooled UHF transmitters will provide several operational benefits and long-term low cost of ownership for INSA. The transmitter’s high-efficiency design will reduce cooling and maintenance needs network-wide, minimizing energy and labor costs. Its liquid-cooling architecture efficiently transfers transmitter-generated heat to building exteriors, minimizing air conditioning requirements. The lack of constantly circulating air inside the facilities help to limit the amount of dust moving through the transmitters, making them easier to maintain. Maintenance is further simplified through the transmitter’s modular design, which allows engineering to leverage a smaller array of common, hot-swappable spare parts across the entire network.

GatesAir will additionally train Ethiopian engineers to service the transmission system, providing education both in Ethiopia and at GatesAir’s manufacturing center in Quincy, Ill.


“GatesAir is pleased to bring the latest technology and our nearly 100 years of global expertise to Ethiopia to improve and expand national digital TV services,” said Phil Argyris, CEO, GatesAir. “We are invested in helping the government of Ethiopia provide the highest quality content, services and media possible for the Ethiopian people that depend on the EBC for news, information and entertainment.”

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