Malawi invites bids for Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting set top boxes

Following the switching on of the Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting Second Generation (DVB-T2) network, the Malawi Government is inviting interested potential suppliers to submit bids for the supply and delivery of set top boxes.

The US$5 millionworth DVB-T2 was switched on December 31st, 2013 in Lilongwe by the Vice President Khumbo Kachali but was turned off within a week following failure by television broadcasters to subscribe for operational signals.

Government, through the Ministry of Information and Civic Education, issued an advertisement for the same under a Procurement Reference number: 330/IPC/INF/DGM/13-14/001 on Thursday.

The government says for the Malawian community to access the Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting Second Generation network there is need to make available the set top boxes.

Vice President Khumbo Kachali Switching on from Analogue to Digital Broadcasting. pic by Felix Washon. MANA.
Vice President Khumbo Kachali Switching on from Analogue to Digital Broadcasting. pic by Felix Washon. MANA.

According to the advert, the method to be used in the procurement is International Competitive Bidding (ICB (Framework Agreement).

It says bidding will be conducted in accordance with the open tendering procedures contained in the Public Procurement Law and Regulations of the Malawi Government and is open to all bidders from eligible source countries.

Interested eligible bidders are requested to further obtain information from the ministry’s Internal Procurement Committee in Old Malawi Book Service Building, room 21 in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe and inspect the bidding documents from Monday toFriday from 8:00 to 16:30 hours.

“A complete set of Bidding Documents in English may be purchased by interested bidders on the submission of a written application… and upon payment of a non-refundable fee of USD 100. The method of payment will be cash or bank certified/guaranteed cheque. The document will be sent by courier. No liability will be accepted for loss or late delivery,” states the advertisement.

It further says all bids must be accompanied by a bid security of two hundred thousand United States dollars ($ 200,000) or an equivalent amount in a freely convertible currency.

The bids are asked to be delivered to the ministry at or before 14:00 Hours local time on 17th March, 2014 and late bids will be rejected.

Bids will be opened in the presence of the bidders’ representatives, who choose to attend at 14:15 Hours local time on 17th March, 2014.

Documents will be purchased from Ministry of Information, Old Malawi Book Service Building opposite Malawi National Library, City Centre, Lilongwe, MALAWI with the following phone contacts +265 (1) 773 233 and +265 (1) 883 611 or mobile +265 888 552 486 and +265 888 861 306.

The bids must be delivered to: The Chairman, Internal Procurement Committee, Ministry of Information, Private Bag 310, Lilongwe, MALAWI.

In June last year, Malawi Government offered a $5 million (then about K1.7 billion) digital migration contract to a Chinese Company Huawei Technologies to install and commission Malawi’s Digital Terrestrial Television.

National Coordinator for Digital Migration in the Ministry of Information, Denis Chirwa bemoaned lack of interest from local broadcasters to apply for the signals.

Out of the required 20-channel available digital broadcasting space, only Luso and MBC were reportedly the only TV channels that had submitted for digital signals.

Television broadcasters are expected to migrate from analogue to digital platform but have to submit their signals to the Ministry of Information for digital migration processing.

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has set a global deadline of 15 June 2015 for the migration from analogue to digital terrestrial television broadcasting.

However, Southern African Development Community (SADC), of which Malawi is a member, set an earlier deadline of 31 December 2013 for the transition to digital.

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