Kenya: State to Prioritise Digital TV Migration

Regulation & Policy

The migration from analogue broadcasting to digital remains on top of the government's list of things to do, a senior state official said yesterday.

Joseph Tiampati, the Principal secretary in the ministry of information and communication said the switch is top priority in the ministry.

The tentative date to start switching off analogue TV in Nairobi is October 31. "It is no news that many sectors are awaiting the completion of digital transition, as part of the spectrum will be released as digital dividend to provide a range of new communication services," he said in a speech read by Bruce Madete a senior director of administration in the ministry during a frequency coordination workshop for Africa being held in Nairobi.

The range of proposed uses for the freed spectrum include advanced mobile services, broadcast mobile TV, commercial wireless broadband services both to fixed locations and mobile devices.

The freed spectrum will also enable expansion of wireless broadband services for public safety ad disaster relief and services ancillary to broadcasting and programming.

"We note the importance of the migration from analogue to digital terrestrial television as this is poised to bring immense benefits not only to the broadcasting consumers but equally to the ICT industry as a whole"

The additional spectrum is expected to to be useful in growing the areas of mobile telemedicine, e-learning, e-government among others.

"As result of the technological transition, many governments are nopw planning for allocation of the digital dividend

'A nine member taskforce, headed by Consumer Federation of Kenya was formed last month to develop a migration schedule.

The members are still deliberating on October 30th to switch-off in Nairobi. They are yet to announce the final decision.

The government had to form an agreement with Cofek so as to move forward the migration which had stalled due to a court case. the Nairobi migration was initially planned for December 31,2012.