Cotel plans digitisation to stop piracy

Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 11-12-2013

Bolivia's pay-TV platform Cotel has more pirate connections than legal ones, so the telco, which operates in the capital district of La Paz, plans to completely digitise its network to have better control over its platform.

In an interview with local newspaper La Razón, Nila Heredia, Cotel's controller, explained that a new digital head-end will allow the company to centralise services and so prevent illegal connections. The modifications, for which Cotel plans to invest around $90,000, will be implemented next year.

According to the company, there are currently 20,000 legal subscriptions in La Paz while it is calculated that 50,000 homes are actually receiving the service. Two months ago, Cotel launched a promotion offering a multi-family package at a reduced price as buildings with several families are where most pirate connections have been detected.

Cotel is going through a delicate financial situation currently, having a debt of nearly $1 million, a huge amount for a company operating in such a small market. The telco is said to be investing income from its pay-TV and telephony services in order to digitise the cable network and stop the drain.