After weeks of signal interruption, Chinese owned pay TV service provider Star Times says the matter has been resolved following the intervention of the Rwanda Utilities and Regulatory Authority (Rura). The provider is now undertaking damage control to woo back clients.
A sales and marketing executive at Star Times, Hussein Kamanzi, said they had indeed experienced signal interruptions when a new player, GOtv, joined the market and installed signals above stipulated levels on a shared frequency, which affected their signal.
“The interferences were resolved as of February 2. The most affected areas were Nyamirambo, Kabeza, Gikondo and Gisozi (all in Kigali). We estimates that more than 6,000 subscribers were affected. During the period of interruption, we received over 600 calls at our call centre with client complaints,” Kamanzi said.
To mitigate the impact of the signal interruption and maintain customer loyalty, Stat Times resorted to recruiting a team to comb the affected areas explaining to clients about the situation.
“We realised that we were losing clients and decided to do something about it. The technical bits were fixed in various ways, including adjusting the antennae position to face where our mast is,” Kamanzi said.
“Beginning March 17 for one week provider will air more than 50 channels for free to all their subscribers regardless of whether they had renewed their subscription or not.”
Kamanzi added that they had also stepped up their customer communication channels by adding SMS platforms and direct lines to the CEO and Director of Customer Service when the call centre is inaccessible to clients.
This is not the first time the Chinese firm has experienced interruptions. Previously they had signal distribution challenges due to technicalities at the transmitter stations.
Hans Huo, the Chief Executive Officer, said they had invested in antenna systems to prevent further interruption of their signal and to enhance customer service.
Star Times, which has been operating in the Rwandan market for the last six years, has a clientelle of about 86,000 subscribers. It says it covers about 88 per cent of the country.