Algeria: Algeria to Introduce Digital TV Broadcasting by 2009

Technology & Convergence

Algeria is poised to shift to digital TV broadcasting by year 2009 in line the ITU’s proposal to migrate all broadcasting services by 2015 to digital.

Algeria’s preparations to migrate was revealed by Mr Mohamed Benfodil, the president of the Algerian Independent ICT Authority (ARPT) during a two days regional seminar organised in Algiers in partnership with the Cairo based Arab bureau of International Union of Telecommunications.

DTVB technology, Benfodil adds, will lead to the development of Algeria’s content industry and the availability of more local content in the broadcasting programs.

Meanwhile, Dr. Miloud Ameziane the director of the ITU Cairo bureau pointed out that 12 out of 22 Arab countries have already introduced this new broadcasting technology although it is early to make any assessment on this process. However, stresses Dr Meziane, it is unavoidable to escape the digital transmission as analogue system is getting obsolete.

Dr Slimane Djematen the technical director of ARPT, who attended last month’s World Radio conference held in Geneva, highlighted the results of the ITU digital planning frequency strategy as being based on ‘flexibility and is forward looking’.

Thus, digital TV broadcasting-terrestrial (DVB-T) as part of the new package system will offer new services and interactive facilities at anytime, any where and on demand. The DVB-T technology will also provide e-health, e-education, e-government, ADSL, TV shopping and electronic trade services to the end user.

Jean Jacques Guitot presented a paper on the experience of France to switch over to digital broadcasting. He said their approach was to establish a regulatory framework that ensured a swift transitory period between analogue and digital, taking into consideration consumer constraints.

There was also a demonstration on how to deliver mobile TV in the region by using hybrid satellite and terrestrial digital broadcasting platform.

Speakers also agreed that although 2015 was the cut-off date to migrate all services to digital broadcasting, African countries needed to start preparing for digital migration now. However, the key question remains unanswered, and that is ‘will the Algerian Audio visual space be opened up to individuals and private companies’?

(Highway Africa News Agency (Grahamstown), 14 December 2007)