How do you ensure all citizens have access to digital TV?



Walesi, the Fijian government’s digital television infrastructure company, connected 333 widely spread islands using the new EUTELSAT 172B high-capacity satellite, ensuring all its citizens have access to digital TV.

Fiji is an archipelago of 333 islands and 884,887 inhabitants. Viti Levu and Vana Levu contain most of the population, while the other islands are less densely populated, with a varying quality of telecommunications infrastructure. About 200 rural and maritime communities do not have any access to television through terrestrial means.

The wide geographic spread of the archipelago and the rugged interiors of the larger islands make it very difficult to deliver digital television coverage terrestrially to the entire population. That’s why Walesi, the company that was set up by the Fijian Government to deliver the digital television infrastructure, chose Eutelsat to supplement the terrestrial network already in place to deliver free-to-air services via satellite nationwide.


Satellite really opens up opportunities for people living in scarcely populated territories, where traditional terrestrial networks are too expensive to deliver. Combining satellite distribution with terrestrial networks, nations can meet their universal service commitments to reach 100% of the population.

In Fiji, digital free-to-air television is provided via a Direct-To-Home (DTH) platform that can serve even the remotest rural and maritime areas. Just by installing a simple satellite dish and the Walesi set-top box, any Fijian home can watch national television in sharp, clear digital quality. And, families on low income will not be excluded as they can obtain their decoder for free, ensuring a universally-available service.

One of the eight national channels is specifically for educational and public service broadcasting purposes to give Fijians, especially youths the same access to knowledge as those living in urban areas. So, providing news and entertainment is not the only aim, television also brings cohesion and common culture.


Eutelsat has been working alongside Walesi since the start of the project to provide the technical advice and consultancy to design and build the country’s DTH capability.

Walesi chose C-band capacity on the new EUTELSAT 172B high-capacity satellite. With its lower frequencies, C-band is more resistant to all weather conditions, which makes it a favourite in tropical countries. EUTELSAT 172B’s C-band coverage over Fiji is one of the strongest in the region, with a downlink power of 41dBW – yielding a higher throughput to ensure Walesi has  significant cost savings.

At present the service is used for television broadcasting DTH and linking remote terrestrial transmission sites.  In the meantime Walesi is trialing the use of the service to deliver data solutions to remote and maritime sites. While the service is currently only free-to-air, pay-TV options are being planned for rollout soon to ensure Fijians have greater choice for quality content.


The Fijian government has a comprehensive digitalisation plan for the islands and in the near future data and voice are going to be made available to all, utilising the capacity of Eutelsat satellites.

In parallel, several projects using the EUTELSAT 172B satellite are being evaluated, including triple-play services (VoIP, DTH and internet) and disaster recovery to build a resilient redundancy system in case of a major natural catastrophe, like a tsunami.




Eutelsat’s approach was a cut above the rest.

The engagement we had with the technical and sales team was extraordinary.

The proposal was very well presented and all technicalities of the proposal were thoroughly explained to the assessment team.

The fact that EUTELSAT 172B was a new bird also gives us comfort as we were investing in services from a brand-new satellite.

Walesi-Shivnesh-Prasad.jpgShivnesh Prasad,
Acting CEO, Walesi