Arqiva and Irdeto team up for African satellite broadcast of 150 premium channels

03 May 2023

Arqiva, a UK-based global communications infrastructure and media services provider, has been selected by Irdeto to continue their partnership on the delivery of broadcast platforms to an audience of over 21 million people across 50 countries in south and sub-Saharan Africa. Under the terms of the contract, Arqiva will provide managed services to Irdeto, part of The Multichoice Group, Africa’s leading entertainment company.

The contract will see Arqiva aggregate a mixture of 150 premium SD and HD channels and employ its new hybrid content processing service Arqplex to provide the encoding and multiplexing for 10 broadcast platforms. The line-up includes regionalised channels from Warner Bros Discovery to Paramount, NBCU and BBC services. These platforms will then be uplinked to the IS-20 satellite for direct-to-home (DTH) distribution. Two of the ten platforms have just launched, with the remaining eight expected to go live by April 2024. As Arqplex increases encoding efficiencies, the flexible service will allow Irdeto to increase their channel density across their transponders creating space for new channels. From a sustainability perspective, additional efficiencies mean that the Arqplex system utilises 40% less power than legacy hardware encode and multiplexing systems.

“Arqiva is pleased to elevate its partnership with Irdeto with Arqplex,” said Gaurav Jandwani, executive director media & broadcast, Arqiva. “Irdeto’s trust reflects Arqiva’s credentials as a reliable broadcast technology partner for global media players. Arqplex provides Irdeto with secure and reliable content aggregation, encoding, multiplexing and packaging for content distribution. In an increasingly competitive African market, our service will reduce complexity, increase efficiency and deliver rapid speed to market for Irdeto. Through Arqplex, Irdeto will have the flexibility to add new channels and reach new customers both quickly and cost-efficiently.”

Arplex is underscored by decades of experience in broadcast and broadband services. The hybrid service is built on Arqiva’s expertise in systems integration, connectivity, and managed services, and is powered by MediaKind’s cloud-native multiplexing, encoding, and packaging headend media processing technology.

Highly scalable and flexible, the Arqplex service is built on a cloud-based subscription model, removing the need for large capex investment in the latest technology advances. This means Irdeto can expect technology upgrades and patches to be securely applied as soon as they are available, removing the need to source and install individual updates.

“We are delighted to be extending our partnership with Arqiva,” said Andrew Bunten, chief operating officer for video entertainment at Irdeto. “Our footprint in Africa has grown and it has been a competitive advantage to be able to meet these complex demands with an efficient, reliable and scalable solution. Arqiva’s operational teams fully manage and monitor the service, so we know our broadcasting is in safe hands.”