Nigeria's Much hyped Telcomm Satellite Television (TStv) said on Saturday its newly inaugurated pay TV, TStv Africa, would begin commercial operation on November 1.
Mr. Bright Echefu, managing director, who stated this during chat with journalists in Abuja, said that TStv would launch its services with about 1 million decoders nationwide. He said at least 5,000 decoders of TStv would be released to the public next week for free, adding that it would use the first set of decoders with one month free subscription to test run its services.
He said: “Commercialization of our decoders will resume officially on November 1 and by that time, every part of Nigeria would have TStv decoders for people to buy. “We are releasing about one million which can go round and our target for the first quarter is one million units.
“In every quarter we will bring one million units and we are targeting four million units within the next one year. “I can tell you categorically that some decoders will be released next week for Nigerians to test and we are going to cover the 36 states of the federation. “These decoders are going to be free and it close to 5,000 units to test and that will last for two weeks.”
Echefu said the delay in releasing the decoders to the public was to ensure that dealers were properly scrutinized so that the decoders do not fall into wrong hands. He explained that the decoder would be sold to Nigerians at a subsidized rate.
According to him, the landing cost of the decoder is $78.
“We don’t want a situation where someone would pick our decoders and dump them somewhere. “That is why we are very careful because of competition. “We have received well over 6,000 applications and it has been overwhelming processing these people. But so far, we have been able to accredit more than 748 dealers and we have received applications from more than 3,000 of them. “That is why we have not commercialized our services even though we are the ones losing because we have enough decoders to cover the whole of Nigeria.
“But it will be unfair with all the money put in for us to give decoders out and those decoders don’t get to the end users,’’ Echefu added.