Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Minister, Honourable Nicholas Dausi, on Friday, 3rd February, 2017 toured the Malawi Digital Broadcast Network Limited (MDBNL) Head Office and DTT Head End at the Area 3 MTL Microwave Station in Lilongwe to familiarise himself with the operations of the Company.

Speaking at the end of the tour, Dausi expressed satisfaction with MDBNL services of providing high quality television services despite the many challenges being faced.

He reiterated Government’s commitment to digital migration and promised to support MDBNL in its efforts to expand its digital signal coverage to Karonga and the Lower Shire and the the surrounding areas to enable people in these areas access local television channels for the first time ever.

The Minister to embrace the new technology and acquire a ‘Kiliye Kiliye’ digital decoder to enjoy better picture quality and more free local channels.

The Minister of Information and Communications technology, Hon. Nicholas Dausi, on 21st January, 2017, became the first Minister to interact with members of the Board of Directors of the Malawi Digital Broadcast Network Limited (MDBNL) when he addressed the Board at its scheduled meeting in Blantyre.

In his address, the Minister hailed the Board for setting up the Company from scratch and the successes it has so far registered in the two years the Company has been in existence.

Hon. Dausi observed that ‘Kiliye Kiliye’ digital television was a great success as it has enabled Malawians access high quality television services and more local channels, saying Government was proud of this achievement.

He welcomed the Company’s plans to extend the digital terrestrial television signal coverage to other parts of the country where there had never been television signal coverage before, saying that is a great milestone which everyone should be proud of.

“This is something all of us as Malawians should be proud of”, said the Minister. He acknowledged the challenges the Company was facing in its efforts to provide the best television services to Malawians and pledged to support and work with the Board in resolving them.

The Minister encouraged the Board to continue working tirelessly as a team in providing sound guidance and direction to management in order for the Company to fulfil the mandate for which the Company was established.

Board Chairman, Mr. Patrick Matanda, since its establishment two years ago, MDBNL had made remarkable progress as it has managed to cover 55 per cent of the country with the digital signal. He said in the past two years, MDBNL has increased coverage of the network to Karonga and Nsanje where the people will be receiving Malawi television for the first time since independence, stabilised network availability to 98% through improving back-up services in the sites.

Mr. Matanda further said in a bid to ensuring that Malawians have a wider choice of local television channels, the Company has managed to increase head end capacity from 20 to 24 television channels and acquired out-door antenna system to enhance picture and sound quality.

He asked the Minister to assist the Company in overcoming some of the challenges it is facing Inadequate funding to ensure that roll out to rural areas completes in time; poor road network to transmitter sites and mobility challenges to ensure quick response to network problems.

He said as new Company, MDBNL needs financial support from Government in the next three years for it to be fully operationalised and self-sustaining. The Minister’s meeting with the MDBNL Board is part of the familiarisation tour of establishments under his Ministry.

In a bid to expand the digital terrestrial television network (DTT), the Malawi Digital Broadcast Network Limited (MDBNL) will commission its DTT transmitter in Karonga by the first week of February, 2017. The commissioning of the transmitter is a milestone in the television industry as it will be the first time ever people of Karonga and the surrounding areas will access local television channels. Construction of a transmitter room and offices at Karonga Boma is almost complete and the transmitter will be installed soon.

As the saying goes, “An early bird catches the fattest worm” people who would like to be the first to experience highly quality pictures and more free local television channels can now start buying their ‘Kiliye Kiliye’ digital decoders at Dechagos Investments and Ngamanyanga General Supplies at Karonga Boma; and Khumbo Superatte at Uliwa Trading Centre.

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The Malawi Digital Broadcast Network Limited (MDBNL) is a public entity mandated to provide signal distribution services to all licensed content providers (broadcasters).

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