Altech secures digitalset box decoder
12 June 2000
Altech secures digitalset box decoder:
Altech, the JSE listed R3.1 billion South African electronics giant, has been awarded its largest single order to date for digital set top boxes valued in excess of R220 million. Multichoice Africa, the leading supplier of digital set top box systems in Africa, placed the order with Altech’s subsidiary, UEC Technologies (UEC), one of the world’s foremost suppliers of digital satellite TV access products and software solutions.
Commenting on the order, Craig Venter, Chief Executive of the Altech Group, said strategic partnering with a world-class global player such as Multichoice, a subsidiary of the NASDAQ – listed M.I.H, had contributed significantly toward UEC’s substantial international expansion and provided for more than 50 percent of its R500 million turnover.
Venter said the group was pleased with the order which further enhanced Altech’s international presence. "This remains crucial to our group’s
globalisation initiatives," said Venter. "UEC plays an important role in the greater global activities of the Altech Group, with decoders being supplied to a number of countries around the world. UEC currently supplies significant volumes into Australia, China, Greece, the Middle East and Africa."
He said Altech’s strategy of capitalising on the convergence of the Internet and TV services was strongly underpinned by UEC. "Its technology has been positioned at the centre of the Home Gateway with its devices and appliances acting as the hub of a wireless network."
"Delivering a platform for digital TV programming, internet access, e-mail, home shopping and banking, video on demand and other applications for broadcasters and content providers remains fundamental to UEC’s operational philosophy", said Venter.
"UEC has experienced an extremely successful financial year to date with 80 percent of its order book already having been filled by the first quarter of 2000. Constant technological development is critical to UEC’s ongoing success. With 11 percent of the company’s turnover being spent on Research and Development, UEC has been able to exploit various technologies providing for the rapid development of value added solutions and services to its broadcasting customer base," he said.
Future growth prospects remain encouraging for UEC with the total international annual market for set top boxes expected to increase from 19 million units in 1999 to 76 million units by 2004.
Through its significant software and hardware design and development capabilities, UEC produces leading-edge solutions for which the intellectual property rights are owned and protected by Altech. "Opportunities are presently being investigated to expand these to cable TV solutions for the rapidly expanding international cable-based markets," said Venter.
Nolo Letele, Chief Executive Officer of Multichoice South Africa said that his group was continually exploiting world-leading technology to ensure that they remained at the forefront of the digital technology wave. "This is particularly strategic as we are heading into an exciting year of digital satellite broadcasting. We are most likely going to end the year by offering our South African subscriber base more interactive services than we have offered in the past," he said.
For more information please contact:
Hugh McCluskey, Altech Group Executive: Manufacturing
Tel (011) 715-9000
Fax (011) 715-9048
Cell 083 225 0634
Lebogang Hashatse, General Manager, Corporate Affairs,
Tel: (011) 289 3061
Fax: (011) 789 5373
Cell 083 378 9645