28 Jun 2015 11:50am
WALVIS BAY, 28 JUN (NAMPA) - Namibia is one of six African countries that migrated from analogue to digital television broadcasting before the deadline of 17 June 2015.
This happened after Namibia successfully switched off the analogue broadcast of its national television some eight days ago.
This means that antennae still on the roofs and television sets of some houses in Namibia must be replaced with satellite dishes as part of the shift to digital broadcasting.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) deadline to migrate from analogue to digital broadcasting system was 17 June 2015, as set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
We are proud as Namibia to have been amongst only six African countries to meet the DTT deadline and wish to also congratulate other SADC members states for beating the deadline, said the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Tjekero Tweya on Friday.
He was officiating at the SADC Communications, Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) and Postal Services Ministers meeting in Walvis Bay.
Other SADC member states that successfully switched to digital broadcasting are Malawi, Mauritius, Tanzania, Zambia and Rwanda.
Those who missed the deadline are expected to switch over by June 2016.
We are equally encouraged that other countries have their foot at the doorstep of successful migration. As they say: better late than never, said Tweya.
The minister said one of the immediate challenges of the region as a result of digital migration will be the availability of appropriate content to fill more channels created as a result of the digitalisation.
Switching over to digital transmission of national television broadcasting means there is more bandwidth and more channels can be accommodated.
The ICT minister also emphasised the need to ensure access to affordable communications services through the SADC home and away roaming initiative.
As governments, we encourage small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to do business across borders and that is the roaming we are referring to.
When we say access to affordable communications, we speak on behalf of SMEs; they gave us the mandate to put policies in place to improve their livelihood and not only speak for the few, Tweya said.
He said SADC should move away from deliberating about ICT without action.
No document should be shelved to be revisited at the next meeting. That culture should end; we want to receive tangible results. There can be no business as usual as that era is over, he said.
Between 21 and 26 June 2015, more than 100 African leaders converged in Walvis Bay, where the SADC DTT Steering Committee meeting took place, followed by the ninth SADC Digital Broadcasting Migration Forum and the SADC Communications ICT and Postal Ministers meeting.
Discussions provided opportunities for member states to share personal experiences on the migration from analogue to DTT.
Participants also discussed analogue switch-off strategies and digital platform operating models, funding models and development of local content.
The SADC Communications ICT and Postal Ministers meeting discussed the implementation of the SADC Roadmap on Digital Broadcasting Migration.