Poynting prepares for the digital television market

ICT firm Poynting is set to launch a Pretoria based incubation centre that will support the advancement of its new digital television product, DigiAnt, into mass production.

The medium sized JSE listed communications technology company, Poynting, announced yesterday a date, 25th of February, for the official opening of the Tshwane East Manufacturing Incubation Centre. The centre said the company is dedicated to development of the innovative DigiAnt digital TV antenna.

The incubation centre comes through a partnership with the department of trade and industry which provided a grant and Lawrence Global Manufacturing.

This looks like a critical move in positioning the company for the digital television market that is bubbling under. South Africa is preparing for migration into digital television and must meet the global deadline of June 2015.

Poynting said its antenna subsidiary has made another leap forward in innovative wireless technology with the development of the DigiAnt digital TV antenna.  “DigiAnt is the first TV antenna to have been developed in 50 years.  The antenna will now be mass produced for the first time.”

The company added that the production of the DigiAnt, which promises to be a highly sought-after TV antenna both in South Africa and globally, marks a milestone in South Africa’s progress towards digital migration.  Production will begin at the newly established Tshwane East Manufacturing Incubation Centre (TEMIC).

Poynting has recently undertaken a joint venture with Lawrence Global Manufacturing to enable production of the DigiAnt.  Lawrence Global Manufacturing is an engineering company specialising in both prototype and mass production of sheet metal fabrication and machining components.  The joint venture has made possible the establishment of the TEMIC manufacturing facility so as to begin production on the DigiAnt.  Initial production is expected to commence at the end of March 2014, with the factory reaching full capacity by June.

Lawrence Global Manufacturing has received a grant from the Incubation Support Programme of the dti, to establish an incubation centre in which SMMEs can be incubated to partake meaningfully in the manufacturing opportunities emanating from DigiAnt.  The incubation centre will encourage the development of small businesses involved in the production of high pressure aluminium die casting and the steel fabrication product value chain. Poynting brings its own capital to the venture, and contributes DigiAnt’s intellectual property (IP) which includes the antenna’s design and technology.

Eduard Walker, Poynting’s Digital Television (DTV) Business Unit Manager, said of the DigiAnt:  “This TV antenna looks completely different to any other TV antenna on the global market.  Its key advantage lies in its size:  when packaged, the DigiAnt is eight times smaller than other antennas, meaning that eight containers of standard-sized antennas will equal just one container of the DigiAnt.  This is going to be hugely beneficial for South Africa’s digital migration, which will require the distribution of 12 million antennas throughout the country.”

Gerhard Lawrence, the CEO and founder of Lawrence Global Manufacturing, which is based in the City of Tshwane, says that being awarded a grant by the dti to enable the company to contribute to the process of digital migration in South Africa has been a major win: “One of Lawrence Global Manufacturing’s objectives has been to expand our reach in the South African market.  With government backing to enable this joint venture, we are well positioned to meet our goal of participating in large scale economic activity.  Additionally, being able to actively contribute to the manufacturing of a local product that is a world-class innovation provides the opportunity to showcase our company’s high-quality manufacturing processes and production capability.”

The company said the DigiAnt will be 100% locally-produced using local, recyclable materials.

Poynting is listed on the JSE’s AltX and showed revenue of about R94m in the year ended June 2013. The company has a stated objective of upping revenue towards R1bn in the short to medium term through organic and acquisitive growth.


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