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GatesAir, Pinnacle, Support Nigerian OTA DTV Launch

GatesAir CEO Phil Argyris at Abuja TX site.

CINCINNATI—GatesAir, along with Nigerian channel partner Pinnacle Communications Ltd., announced the buildout and launch of a turnkey DVB-T2 transmission system serving the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city. The DVB-T2 system supports the switch-on of a new over-the-air DTV service now delivering 30 channels of news, information and entertainment to Abuja residents.

GatesAir and Pinnacle Communications designed, delivered, integrated and commissioned the complete solution on behalf of Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) over a three-month period, which includes main and backup GatesAir high-efficiency Maxiva™ ULXT liquid-cooled transmitters for content delivery. GatesAir also supplied the DVB-T2 headend, which optimizes UHF spectrum for multichannel services; along with all electrical material and RF systems required for the greenfield buildout.

GatesAir has worked closely with Pinnacle Communications since 1998, launching TV and FM radio systems across Nigeria. The FCT Abuja system represents the second phase of a digital switch-on, which is expected to eventually reach more than 50 million homes and 170 million residents.

“The Abuja project began as a greenfield site in early September, and we worked closely with GatesAir and the National Broadcasting Commission through its inauguration on Dec. 22,” said Dipo Onifade, executive director of Pinnacle Communications. “This tight schedule was quite a challenge, and its success proves how well the two companies work together to deliver complete digital broadcasting solutions with exceptional quality.”

Sir Lucky Omoluwa, chairman of Pinnacle Communications, said, “GatesAir accelerated delivery of the ULXT transmission system and DVB-T2 headend to support the launch of two program multiplexes, which was an enormous help to meeting this deadline. GatesAir worked closely with Pinnacle Communications and Nigerian stakeholders to architect the most efficient configuration, ensuring the complete ecosystem is consistent. Viewers within the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja ultimately benefit with 30 free-to-air channels.”

As the licensed signal distributor for Nigeria, Pinnacle Communications is working closely with the Nigerian regulator, NBC, to plan future expansions of the service. The success of this rollout means that Pinnacle Communications will work closely with GatesAir on future launches, and anticipates a total of 70 additional RF sites for comprehensive national coverage. The next phase, targeted for completion in June 2017, according to the Director-General of NBC, is expected to cover six states from each of Nigeria’s geo-political zones. Pinnacle Communications confirms that GatesAir will deliver ULXT liquid-cooled and UAXT air-cooled transmitters to support the rollout.

“As Nigeria’s DVB-T2 digital TV rollout progresses, we intend to work closely with Pinnacle Communications and all stakeholders in Nigeria to deliver the systems they require to their exacting specifications,” said Phil Argyris, GatesAir CEO. “Our global expertise in managing national DTV projects will ensure quick delivery and deployment of high-efficiency systems that lower total cost of ownership and optimize performance over many years.”