South African signal distributor Sentech is leveraging the computing power of Amazon Web Services (AWS) to create streaming services in the country.
The signal distributor provides broadcast transmission services to all SABC radio and television stations, commercial radio, and TV stations, and over 130 community radio stations country-wide daily.
It also provides connectivity and infrastructure services to the retail, telecommunications, and public sector.
Kopano Thage, Sentech’s acting Chief Marketing and Sales Officer, explains that AWS is one of the state-owned company’s suppliers and has assisted it in providing streaming solutions.
“As the country went into Lockdown level 5 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Easter period, which is important for our customer, we were able to develop a streaming service platform for our religious channels, to answer the call of social distancing as the lockdown regulations prohibited the congregation from mass gatherings,” he says.
COVID-19 has forced many educational institutions to resort to remote learning to minimise the disruptions caused by the pandemic. It is expected that schools will continue to increase and improve their use of remote instruction even after the COVID-19 pandemic abates.
Thage says Sentech is in the process of developing a streaming platform that will enable e-learning and access to educational content for learners during this period.
“We understand the importance of education in our country most especially providing access to rural and underserviced areas with the view of addressing all citizens within our country that do not have access to streaming services,” explains Thage.
He points out that as a leading communication service provider in the broadcast space, Sentech plays a key role in the content and multimedia environment.
“We continue to evolve and develop digital solutions for our customers to ensure relevance in and ever-changing media landscape. Within the COVID -19 era, we have managed to ensure continuity of broadcast services to all our customer maintaining a high level of service availability while adhering to the regulation of lockdown levels.”
Thage says this continuity is being enabled by the AWS Cape Town data centres, which allow for the localisation of data in support of maintaining the sovereignty of the data and improving the efficiency of accessing that data.
According to him, Sentech is also playing a leading role in South Africa’s digital migration process.
Go Digital South Africa is in the process of taking South Africans to a new era of digital television that also brings more choice of television channels to ordinary people who view free-to-air television as provided by SABC, e-tv and M-Net.
Currently, these services are broadcast in an analogue format. The country is, therefore, moving these services, including regional television services, from analogue to digital broadcasting.
“Our organisation has already rolled-out the Digital Terrestrial Network to enable digital migration of services,” says Thage.
“We also intend to assist to expedite migration in collaboration with the stakeholders organised by the government. The completion of the digital migration would enable the release of the spectrum that is needed to further the connectivity needs of our citizen.”