Kyrgyzstan DTT service launches after Eutelsat, RPO RMTR tie-up

DetailsRebecca Hawkes | 28 January 2015

The Kyrgyz Republic's public broadcast RPO RMTR has signed a multi-year deal with Eutelsat to provide a nationwide free-to-air (FTA) digital TV service ahead of analogue switch-off this June.

RPT RMTR is using the high power service area of the Eutelsat 70B satellite to broadcast four national TV channels to digital terrestrial television (DTT) towers and also direct-to-home (DTH) in areas beyond the reach of terrestrial signals.

One in five of the 1.2 million TV homes in the Kyrgyz Republic are already equipped with a satellite dish, with the country's mountainous terrain making satellite well suited for broadcasting digital television, according to the France-based satellite operator.

"Access to Eutelsat 70B's premium coverage over the Kyrgyz Republic transforms us into a nationwide provider of digital broadcast services. By having a hybrid satellite/DTT network, we will achieve full digital coverage in time for analogue switch-off in June this year," said Bakit Sharshembiev, CEO, RPO RMTR.

The digital platform from RPO RMTR, which launched commercially in January 2015, has been in test transmission since November 2014. The bouquet is expected to expand to 16 TV channels and eight radio stations by the year-end.

Ainura Temirbekova, Vice Minister of Culture, Information and Tourism of the Kyrgyz Republic, said: "We are excited about the fruitful cooperation between RPO RMTR and Eutelsat for the successful implementation of digital satellite TV. This project for the broadcasting of the Kyrgyz Republic's public channels via Eutelsat 70B satellite allows us to cover the entire territory of the country. The population of the Kyrgyz Republic is now able to receive all public TV and radio channels anywhere in our country."

Michel Azibert, chief commercial & development officer, Eutelsat, added: "This is a significant opportunity for Central Asia as Eutelsat's 70° East position can take its place as a broadcasting point of reference in the region, with premium reach of the Kyrgyz Republic as well as Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan."