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THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA

TANZANIA COMMUNICATIONS REGULATORY AUTHORITY
ISO 9001: 2008 CERTIFIED

PUBLIC NOTICE
ON THE ISSUE OF ITV AND EATV SIGNALS DISTRIBUTED BY STAR
MEDIA AND SATELLITE DOWNLINK FREQUENCY (3.644 GHz)
INTERFERENCE AT THE TRANSMITTER STATION IN MAKONGO JUU
AREA
A. INTRODUCTION
1. Spectrum (or Frequency) is an important resource in all communication
services (telecommunications, internet, radio and TV broadcasting).
Spectrum is allocated by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory
Authority (TCRA) (hereafter referred as the “Authority”) to operators
with a license and license conditions. One of the duties of the Authority
is to receive and resolve many cases of interference between operators
using expertise in science and technology. These duties are in
accordance with the TCRA Act of 2003 and the Electronic and Postal
Communications Act (EPOCA) of 2010.
2. On 29th January 2015, the Authority received a complaint with regard to
the signals of the Independent Television (ITV) and East Africa
Television (EATV) distributed by Star Media (T) Ltd as a signal
distributor. ITV, EATV have each a Content Service License while Star
Media has a Network Facility License as a signal distributor. Any license
has license conditions to be complied with.

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3. Different services use different spectrum bands. Some satellite
services are in the band 3.4 to 4.2 GHz, known as the C-Band. It should
be noted that satellite downlink frequency 3.644 GHz is used to receive
the signal from Intelsat 906 (TP 10) for local Digital Terrestrial
Television (DTT) transmitter located at Makongo Juu area. However,
some parts of the world, including Tanzania, use WiMAX applications in
3.5 GHz. From the ranges of these frequencies, it is well known globally
the need for compatibility techniques between Fixed Satellite Services
(FSS) and IMT systems such as Broadband Wireless Access (BWA)
transmission including WiMAX sites.
4. The Authority appointed a team of experts to investigate the matter in
accordance with complaints procedures when a complaint is lodged to
the Authority. The team consulted and visited Star Media transmitter
site for clarification on the nature, timing, location and the duration of
the

interference.

The

experts

performed

survey

on

the

area

surrounding the transmitter investigating for any possible broadband
wireless source operating on 3.4 – 3.6 GHz band. The team performed
frequency monitoring and bandwidth occupancy measurements on the
whole C- band downlink frequency from 3.4 GHz to 4.2 GHz.
B. OBSERVATIONS AND FINDINGS
5. After the survey and investigation, the experts observed that the
interference occurs between 1800 to 0000 hours. The site survey
revealed that the interfered Star Media satellite receiver station site is
located (S 06◦ 45’ 736 E 39◦ 12’ 632). The receiving Low Noise Block
down converter (LNB) range is from 3.4 GHz to 4.2 GHz. The frequency
monitoring results on the center frequency 3.644 GHz did not show any
presence of an external interfering signal. Also, the frequency scanning
on the band from 3.4 GHz to 3.6 GHz revealed several signals with
different peaks to be emanating from the 3.5 GHz licensed operators
which use WiMAX technology.
6. From the analysis it was concluded that there was no In-band
interference from BWA system due to the fact that no operating
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frequencies for both systems were found to coincide. It was further
observed that there was no out-of-band emissions were detected. Outof-band emissions from the BWA systems operating in the 3.5GHz band
may cause interference to the FSS stations operating in the 3.6 – 4.2
GHz band.
7. The measurements results show that Makongo area receives signals
from almost every operator in the 3.5 GHz band from different parts of
the city due to its high elevation. This scenario may cause the BWA
signals in the 3.5 GHz band to overload the FSS stations operating in
3.4 – 4.2 GHz band if there are no protection measures such as use of
band pass filter or narrow band LNBs.
C. RESOLUTION OF THE INTERFERENCE
8. Given the result of the investigation, the Authority recommended a
number of solutions to Star Media to overcome the problem. First,
using IF attenuator/filter at the FSS receiving station; Using LNB
converter working in 3.7 – 4.2 GHz band instead of the entire C-band
(3.4 – 4.2 GHz); however, note that the receiving frequency is 3.664
GHz which is in the guard band between terrestrial users (3.4-3.6 GHz)
and Satellite downlink reception (3.7-4.2 GHz). Secondly, the Authority
requires the BWA systems to have a minimum separation distance
from FSS stations and comply with other implementation requirements
to reduce interference to FSS stations, noting that most of the signals
are coming from distant sources due to high elevation of Makongo
area. Thirdly, alternative means of receiving signals at Makongo site
may be considered such as the use of Ku Satellite band, microwave
links or the use of fiber optic technology.
9.

After the Authority’s scientific spectrum analysis and survey, it is
confirmed that there was no sabotage or intention by Star Media to
interfere or cause interference on ITV and EATV signals. This is purely
a scientific and technical problem which has been solved scientifically
and technically between the responsible operators working closely
with the Authority.

10.
We wish to take this opportunity to remind all TCRA Licensees
that in case of any complaints, they should follow laid down
procedures which include reporting to the Authority and collaborating
to solve problems scientifically.
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For further information you may contact dg@tcra.go.tz
Director General
Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA)
5th February 2015

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