The launch represents an advanced digital terrestrial television (DTT) broadcast system and infrastructure established in Africa and the rest of the world to date, and leapfrogs the outdated T1 systems which was utilized by first movers in the digital migration putting Kenya at the forefront of the digital migration process.
GOtv is on a DVB-T2 technology standard which allows for up to 20 channels per frequency, different from the DVB-T1 technology which only allows for 12 channels per frequency. This will be a dramatic improvement on the dividend of terrestrial frequencies available to countries when DVB-T2 is deployed.
Speaking during the launch, Samuel Poghisio, Kenya's Minister of Information and Communications said the launch of the service coincides with the government's target of migrating from analogue to digital TV transmission by 2012.
"The digital migration process is in line with a commitment made by governments around the world, in 2006, at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) conference to shift from analogue to digital broadcasting by 2015. This move is expected to free up much-needed spectrum, which the government plans to re-use for other purposes," said Poghisio.
GOtv will play a pivotal role towards contributing to this technological transformation and in the process, will help Kenya achieve its set target towards the migration to digital TV transmission.
Felix Kyengo, manager at GOtv, said the new pay-TV service is a product of pay television innovation from MultiChoice and the KBC [Kenya Broadcasting Corporation] and is aimed at making the digital television product available to all Kenyans.
"GOtv is uniquely placed to become the home of African television. We firmly believe that there is enough rich content created here on the continent to make a case for packaging great African entertainment and we have committed ourselves to making this a reality thus, offering channels made in Africa for Africa," said Kyengo.
The DVB-T2 technology has only launched in certain parts of Nairobi and will expand to other parts of the country by December 2011.
Some of the channels that will be available to GOtv subscribers include: Africa Magic+, Africa Magic Swahili, One Gospel, E! Entertainment, Channel O, e.tv Africa, Magic World, KBC, NTV, KTN and Citizen TV. International channels include: Discovery World, National Geographic Wild, Disney Junior and BBC World.
GOtv is available from the GOtv offices and the service can be activated via the GOtv call centre. Subscribers can pay a minimum of KSh 585 monthly or KSh 6 255 for 21 channels including a three month subscription.