Namibia: Digital broadcast migration needs N$350 million


Namibia will experience the impact of digital terrestrial television (DTT) in the next one to three years, says Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology Stanley Simataa.

Simataa informed the National Assembly on Thursday that the national broadcaster, NBC “is at an advanced stage of completing the commercial negotiation on Namibia’s blueprint for the DTT migration.

“The blueprint will give us the roadmap for migration, detailed costing and timelines for implementation of the project by NBC for and on behalf of Namibia,” Simataa said.  “This evolution would mean that in terms of television broadcasting, the NBC will be able to offer five different television channels on the present frequency”.

These channels could be a parliamentary channel, education channel, history and culture channel and a general sport and entertainment channel, the deputy minister said. He said the national broadcaster would also be able to expand its language services nationwide.  This will enable us to truly move away from the pre-colonial constraints of bantustanisation of our people and country, he said.

However, if Namibia is to fully realise this dream, the Government will need to invest about N$350 million in the national digital migration exercise. Simataa said that migration to DTT is both a nationally important event and a worldwide phenomenon.
He said this would ensure that Namibia remains relevant amongst the nations after the June 2015 deadline set by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the December 2012 deadline set by SADC to switch off all analogue transmission and broadcasting.

“In concert with those timelines, most radio services will be available [digitally] to all Namibians within the next 36 months”, the deputy Minister said in the National Assembly.

The contribution was partly in answer to questions raised by All Peoples Party leader Ignatius Shixwameni in the National Assembly. The question raised by Shixuameni pertained to the capital development projects of the national broadcaster.