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The Impact Of Competitiveness On Satellite TV Services In The Developing World

Ab initio, satellite TV services was only within the reach of privileged rich few in the society. Around late 1980s to mid 1990s, only the bourgeoisies were seen with very large diameter (about 2m) dishes pointing to the sky on their roof tops and at secluded areas around the courts in their compounds. Some of the dishes were fancifully designed plastics with nets while others were metallic and painted to protect them against rust. During this period, it takes a great resources and manpower to mount a satellite dish since crane trucks and forklifts were used for carrying and mounting the dishes that receive signals mainly free from stations that transmit in Arabic and few English speaking stations. The paid satellite TV services were very few with large dishes as well. The ownership of the dish at this time is a mark of affluence and a sign of distinction.

Today, what used to be the pride of the wealthy in the society has become of little consequence to the poor and depraved among men. Thanks to satellite TV service proliferation and competitiveness among providers. It is a common phenomena to see very small apartments ( sometimes even mud houses) in the remote villages in some developing nations having very small dishes(about 0.35m diameter) hanging either on the wall or on small metallic poles (of about 2m high and 0.1m diameter) providing satellite TV services to the occupants of the houses. Some of the houses do not have dishes but specialized antennas for receiving signals from the base stations of their service providers.

Prior to this era of proliferation and competitiveness among satellite TV service providers, the cost of providing decoder, dish and other accessories needed for transmitting to home TV sets was not less than $600 whereas the monthly subscription was about $100 . This cost can only be afforded by high income level persons. It could be stated that the trend has reverted and spending as low as $50 during promotion periods can be able to afford a satellite TV connection whereas about $12 can be spent on monthly subscription. This development has made information to be at the reach of the folks with low income levels in the developing world.

Since many providers are striving for mastery in the business world, they have introduced many innovations aimed at having edge over their competitors. These innovations which includes watching the TV programs on the mobile phone everywhere you go, codes for controlling channels to ensure children are not endangered, recording services to ensure that telecasted programs can be stored and watched at convenience etc. have placed some providers at advantage over others and left customers the choice to migrate through providers at will.

The introduction of software to surf thousands of satellite TV stations over the internet with the computer at no service charge by some programmers have gone a long way to liberalize their services hence, making the customer to be at freedom to decide how and when to use the service. Since the internet facility is not domicile in any country, the satellite TV services can now be view by customers at no service charge from around the world with internet facility. This has made information dissemination easy hence emancipation of the poor and mediocre from ignorance is imminent.

I believe that as technology continues to be dynamic, satellite TV service competitiveness will continue and the level of knowledge dissemination will increase. This will make it possible to achieve the UN millennium development goals among developing nations of the world.



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Broadcast on February 19th 2010 in Satellite TV