Kenya: government to ban importation of analogue TV sets

Technology & Convergence

The Kenyan State is about to ban analog TV imports into the country in the next four months as a way of speeding up uptake of digital TVs locally, it has emerged.
Information and Communications Permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo yesterday said that the move will help reduce use of analog TVs and help the country meet the June deadline for migration from analog to digital broadcasting. "The more we import these analog TVs the more we complicate uptake of the new technology," Ndemo said.

The planned ban comes as the government also prepares to launch a new Digital Video Broadcasting second generation terrestrial platform compatible with digital broadcasting next week in Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa.

According to Ndemo the current digital platform being used in the country has been DVB-T but next week the digital broadcasts will move to DVB-T2. "We also need more and different content on the digital platform because what is there now is the same as what is on the analog platform and it makes it impossible for migration because people do not see the difference," Ndemo said
Those who have analog TVs can access programs on digital broadcasting through using set top boxes for conversion of the digital transmissions into an compatible mode. Ndemo said the boxes which currently retail at about Sh5,500 may cost less in future if his ministry is successful in lobbying for scrapping of duty on these gadgets by Treasury.

New content would entice more people to migrate to digital broadcasts, he added. He was speaking during the launch of LG Kenya's new Sh35 million service centre along Ngong Road in Nairobi. LG a consumer electronics manufacturer said its factories abroad have already started producing TVs compatible to digital broadcasting and that the firm plans to start importing these sets into Kenya before June.

Meanwhile LG, a big player in the market said it has no immediate plans yet to set up a manufacturing unit in the country yet but said that it would evaluate the possibilities. Korean ambassador to Kenya Chan-Woo Kim said LG's quest to grow in the local market through its latest strategy of opening up customer service centres "could be a starting point of transforming Kenya into a manufacturing country."