Walta to launch digital signage projects in Ethiopia

Walta Information Center said it is set to embark on digital signage technology, an information broadcasting system using a combination of computer and monitors.

The private media outlet and Public Relations Center purchased a total of 144 Large Format Display (LFD) screens from Samsung, the South Korean electronics manufacturer, at a cost of nearly half a million dollars.

“Although it is widely used in America and Europe, digital signage is a relatively new technology,” Iyasu Ephrem, technical advisor of the project, told WIC. “Walta will be the first to deploy such a technology in Ethiopia in such scale and complexity”.

Digital signage is a form of electronic display that shows information, advertising and other messages to communicate with a target audience allowing one to become a broadcaster.

In the first phase of the project the 46 inch 144 LFD screens will be deployed at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, according to the project technical advisor.

“Once we deploy the screens for the Bole project, we hope there will be a surge of demand from the business community from both the private and public sectors,” Iyasu said.

The company expects to start implementation of the first project at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport by mid September after making the ‘necessary arrangements’.

“We are disappointed by Samsung’s approach in terms of software and technical support,” Iyasu said. “We are not able to get the technical manual for the hardware and the software”.

He said after persistent requests from Walta, Samsung sent a team of three technical experts to assist in the project.

“However, our IT team’s progress was much better than the experts’,” Iyasu said. “Instead of training us we trained them”.

“In general we have lost confidence on Samsung so we are looking into options to find other software providers,” he said.

Building on the first project, the company aims to expand the technology to other parts of the country. The project cost is expected to rise during the implementation of the project which includes installing the hardware, putting network structure and recruiting new staff.

“By deploying the technology into the country, Walta is creating new job opportunities particularly for IT people in the fields of networking, graphics design, systems management and maintenance,” Iyasu said.

Source: Walta Information