DSO in Nigeria: Pinnacle is tower of power

Indeed, Pinnacle has come of digital age, steadily transforming itself and the nation’s entire broadcast industry, through the process of keeping pace with the dynamics of international technological innovation, standards and best practices

POWERING DSO NIGERIA

Pinnacle has successfully emerged as the formidable flagship of Nigeria’s debut into the world of digital broadcasting by towering above the country’s recent digital switch over (DSO) from analogue to Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT), having secured an enviable status as the first and only licensed broadcast signal distributor. This momentous development also depicts the latest pedestal in the rising profile of Pinnacle Communications Limited,  already well established as Nigeria’s leading broadcast engineering  equipment company, providing product, system and service solutions for advanced transmitter systems, digital television (DTV) and digital radio equipment. It has been launching TV and FM radio systems across Nigeria since 1998.

Indeed, Pinnacle has come of digital age, steadily transforming itself and the nation’s entire broadcast industry, through the process of keeping pace with the dynamics of international technological innovation, standards and best practices.

Today, the much-awaited DSO is a reality in Nigeria and Pinnacle is very instrumental to the realization of this national project in many ways. From holding its fort right through the difficult processes involved in emerging as successful bidder for the national broadcast signal distributor license and steadfastly overcoming the unexpected challenges it faced in performing its critical role in the roll-out of the DSO, Pinnacle has become the veritable backbone of the successful launch and on-going switch-over across the country.

THE LAUNCHING FEAT

The December 2016 national launch of the DSO Nigeria project was particularly a showcasing spectacle of the technological prowess and logistic capability of Pinnacle, making possible within record time what everyone thought was a tall order. In the characteristic result-oriented quiet proficiency approach imprinted on Pinnacle Communications track record by its unassuming high achiever- founder and Chairman, Sir Lucky Omoluwa, the green field site atop the Mpape Hill in the outskirts of Abuja, the nation’s capital was changed dramatically from September when the Federal Government fixed a December launch date to the state-of-the-art Pinnacle Centre, engine room of Nigeria’s DSO, on schedule!

No one could have described this fantastic feat better than the Director-General of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Malam Ishaq Modibbo Kawu: “In eight weeks, this site…….was cleared and built up; they also went ahead to install some of the finest transmission systems in the world at this site! What we have here is an example of the Nigerian spirit of positive daring as well as a major statement for our country’s entrepreneurial ability. The Chairman of Pinnacle Communications Limited, Sir Lucky Omoluwa, did remarkably well in working round the clock to see that Abuja DSO was a success after all.”

The choice of Pinnacle as digital signal distributor for DSO in the nation’s capital was a vote of confidence in its competence and capability.

PRAGMATIC PARTNERSHIP WITH WORLD’S BEST  BROADCAST  TECHNOLOGY

The Pinnacle Centre represents a bold hallmark of the decades of seamless partnership between GATESAIR, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for radio and TV broadcasters and Pinnacle Communications Limited, national leader in supply, installation, maintenance, training and management for full range of world class broadcast systems. Pinnacle Communications and GATESAIR designed, delivered, integrated and commissioned the Abuja complex, which includes main and backup GatesAir high-efficiency Maxiva™ ULXT liquid-cooled transmitters for content delivery, the DVB-T2 head end that optimizes UHF spectrum for multichannel services as well as all electrical material and RF systems.

In May 2016 Pinnacle Communications Limited unveiled the world class pedigree of capacity and expertise it is bringing into the DSO  at the Single Company Presentation organized by the US Embassy in Abuja in honour of Pinnacle’s major international partner, GATESAIR, America’s best broadcast technology company with more than 90 years track record. GATESAIR runs the largest transmitter manufacturing complex in the world at its Quincy, Illinois, USA facility. Also introduced at the event was JAMPRO, another international partner of Pinnacle and the pioneer broadcast antenna systems company in the US. JAMPRO is an industry leader with several patents and over 25,000 installed systems world-wide since 1954.

Pinnacle Chairman, Sir Lucky Omoluwa captured the pragmatic partnersip thus : “GatesAir accelerated delivery of the ULXT transmission system serving the  estimated 1.2 million people in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, and DVB-T2 headend to support the launch of two program multiplexes, which was an enormous help to meeting this deadline,” adding  “GatesAir worked closely with Pinnacle Communications and Nigerian stakeholders to architect the most efficient configuration, ensuring the complete ecosystem is consistent. Viewers within the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja ultimately benefit with 30 free-to-air channels.”

ROLLING OUT DSO NIGERIA

Since then, Pinnacle has forged ahead, fast-tracking the nation-wide roll out as planned by the NBC.  The first phase of the plan is expected to cover six states, one from each of Nigeria’s geo-political zones and eventually reach more than 50 million homes and 170 million residents. Pinnacle has already replicated its systematic technological expertise in the Kaduna installation located in the heart of Kaduna. It is scheduled to undertake Delta and Gombe states installations soon.

The pivotal role of Pinnacle in the successful roll-out of the DSO in Nigeria has also further boosted the commitment of the Federal Government to revitalize the hitherto paralyzed implementation of DSO Nigeria. The process suffered several years of failure to meet set datelines in compliance with the agreement under The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for worldwide transition from analogue to digital broadcasts signals. It also strengthened the technological linkage between Nigeria and the US, headquarters of GATESAIR,  leading international broadcast equipment manufacturer.

FEDERAL DELEGATION INSPECTS US MANUFACTURING FACILITY

Information Minister, Lai Mohammed recently led a Nigerian team comprising the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on DSO, Hon. Sunday Katung, the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Malam Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, the Chairman of Digiteam, Mr Edward Amana, and the Chairman of Pinnacle Communications, Sir Lucky Omoluwa, to inspect facilities at GATESAIR’s sprawling factory in Quincy, USA,  where several equipment  for the DSO Nigeria roll-out are being manufactured.

The Minister stated that the switch over from analogue to digital television in Nigeria is “irreversible” because the DSO is a ”game changer” that will bring immense benefits to Nigerians and help the government to achieve one of its cardinal goals of diversification of the economy. Alhaji Mohammed said the meeting with the US company, now a key player in the DSO process, further confirms the government’s commitment to the project.

He declared: ”The DSO is very important to this Administration, because of the limitless potentials that it represents for us as a government. DSO goes beyond just receiving digital transmission but an avenue to create jobs and ignite the huge creative potentials of our youths. It is also a solution to some of the intractable problems affecting the creative industry, including piracy and distribution. Seeing some of the equipment being shipped to Nigeria for the DSO project has reinforced our belief in the ability of Pinnacle Communications Limited, one of the two signal distributors for the project, to meet its roll-out targets,’’

Also speaking, the Chairman of the House Committee on DSO said the visit was part of efforts to ensure that the DSO process goes smoothly. The DG of NBC, Malam Ishaq Modibbo Kawu assured that the DSO project will be delivered on a modern platform because of the wonderful partnership involving the Ministry of Information and Culture, the NBC and the signal distributors.

Welcoming the delegation to the 95- year old company, the Chief Executive Officer of Gates Air, Mr. Phil Argyris, assured of the company’s readiness to work with Nigeria to ensure the success of the DSO project and assured : ”We never let our customers down. As Nigeria’s DVB-T2 digital TV rollout progresses, we intend to work closely with Pinnacle Communications and all stakeholders in Nigeria to deliver the systems they require to their exacting specifications. Our global expertise in managing national DTV projects will ensure quick delivery and deployment of high-efficiency systems that lower total cost of ownership and optimize performance over many years.”

PINNACLE PROWESS FOR AFRICA

A strong indication of the rising profile of Pinnacle towards becoming a continental hub for the provision of highly specialized qualitative know-how and technological capacity for the DSO across Africa emerged with the keen interest and ongoing interaction of some countries for engagement in replicating the Nigerian success story. The DG of NBC, Ishaq Modibbo Kawu lent credence to these bright prospects when he remarked recently that “Nigeria’s DSO process has today become the most talked about in Africa; it was designed by Nigerians; and is being implemented by Nigerians. This is not the case in quite a number of settings in Africa; and the consequence is that we are constantly receiving inquiries and visits from other African countries, to understudy the work we have done”.

A delegation from the Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority was in Abuja recently where it held very fruitful discussions on the Nigerian DSO, especially to key into the Nigerian DSO roadmap, and it has been decided to intensify assistance in their implementation process. From neighboring Niger Republic came the Minister of Communications of Niger, at the head of a delegation to Abuja for similar discussions. Both delegations visited headquarters of Pinnacle where they held exploratory meetings for partnership. Earlier, preliminary discussions were held with the Zambian broadcasting regulatory body on their proposal to come and study the Nigerian DSO process, while the Government of Sierra Leone has also begun discussions to partner with Nigeria to kick-start the Sierra Leonean DSO process.

KEEPING PINNACLE FLAG FLYING

For Pinnacle Broadcast therefore its trail-blazing entry into the DSO Nigeria project as the first licensed broadcast signal distributor coupled with the outstanding performance delivery achieved on which the project is now securely anchored, marks another marvelous milestone in the focused transformation of Pinnacle Communications Limited. It is truly an impressive development in the remarkable history of the company that had already earned recognition in keeping the nation’s broadcast industry up to speed in the fast-changing realm of world class broadcast technology.

Though Pinnacle Communications has always been modest about its spectacular corporate profile in the nation’s broadcast industry, the uncommon demonstration of patriotism in business pursuit that facilitated a historic breakthrough in the deadlocked launching and roll out of the DSO NIGERIA as well as the breath-taking technological capacity it has deployed deserve  a drum roll.   

SIR LUCKY OMOLUWA: MODEST BUSINESS TITAN

This is yet another distinguished laurel in the career of its founder-Chairman, SIR LUCKY OMOLUWA who has won  several international awards.

Sir Lucky was knighted by Pope Benedict in 2010. He was awarded a Special Congressional Recognition by the US Congress in Washington DC in 2012 aptly tagged US Congress Business Titan Award. Congressman Jeff Fontenberry remarked that the singular significance of Sir Lucky Omoluwa’s recognition for the award was that “this is an award that cannot be influenced.” It can only be earned!

The modest personality that he is, Sir Lucky Omoluwa is a strong advocate of team synergy as a strategy for excellence in the entrepreneurial spirit of Henry Ford whose famous Recipe For Success was COMING TOGETHER IS A BEGINNING; KEEPING TOGETHER IS PROGRESS; WORKING TOGETHER IS SUCCESS.

Nigerians should just sit back and enjoy world class digital broadcast signals in the unfolding DSO powered by Pinnacle.

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