South Africa Info Forums

Full Version: More S Africans embracing digital migration
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Walvis Bay - The level at which South Africans are embracing digital migration indicates their eagerness to get decoders known as Set Top Boxes (STB’s) to enjoy crystal clear quality pictures, says Communications Minister Faith Muthambi.

“It is encouraging to note that wherever we go across the country, we are approached by our people who are unable to hide their excitement about digital migration.

“People want to know when they are going to purchase their STBs. We know that the success of digital migration is mainly on a massive consumer awareness campaign, so it is exciting to see how South Africans are already embracing digital migration.

“We’ve been saying to South Africans that we anticipate to expedite the rollout of STBs to be completed in the coming 18-24 months so that we can switch off analogue signal and begin to realise the benefits of digital dividend to allow for the rollout of Wireless Broadband Services.

“However, we are still going to roll-out our massive campaign on digital migration to all our nine provinces since inclusive communication service remains our cornerstone,” she said.

Minister Muthambi was speaking exclusively to SAnews upon her arrival on Wednesday in Walvis Bay, Namibia, where she is going to hold bilateral engagements to eliminate the risk of digital terrestrial television (DTT) transmissions interfering with the analogue transmissions on the two countries’ border areas.

Minister Muthambi is scheduled to engage her counterpart, Information Communications and Technology Minister Tjekero Tweya, especially with regard to potential cross-border frequency spectrum interference post the DTT migration deadline of 17th June 2015, as set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

Ahead of the ITU deadline last Wednesday, the Minister had already consulted her counterparts in Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique on this issue. The ITU is no longer providing any protection to broadcasters who failed to migrate from analogue to digital broadcasting.

DTT refers to the broadcast of the terrestrial television in digital format and local households need to purchase decoders known as STBs in order to switch from analogue to digital television as analogue has been switched off by the ITU on June 17, 2015.

Minister Muthambi is accompanied by technical experts from SENTECH (Transmitter Network Management) and ICASA (Spectrum Management), Department of Communications DTT Programme team and the technical team of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

The Minister will conclude her visits to neighbouring countries with a meeting in Zimbabwe, but on a date yet-to-be announced.

After the bilateral engagements with Minister Tweya, Minister Muthambi is scheduled to join the annual Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Communications, Information Communications and Technology (ICT) and Postal Ministers two-day meeting, starting on Thursday at Walvis Bay.

Namibia’s first ever DTT transmitter was switched on for trial purposes in September last year, in Klein Windhoek, a gap filler site in Windhoek. The DTT transmission standard selected by Namibia is DVB-T2 with MPEG-4 compression.

Once Namibia switches off the analogue signal in March 2016, 65 DTT transmitters will provide coverage for 80% of the country.

The South African government will provide free STBs to five million poor TV-owning households and this shift is a reflection of government’s commitment to ensure that digital migration happens within the shortest time possible. -