Nigeria Targets N380 Billion From Digital Migration

Technology & Convergence

Nigeria could earn as much as $2 billion (about N380 billion) when it finally migrate from analogue to digital broadcasting.

The Chairman, Fatora Consult Limited, Mr. Edward Amana, whose firm is part of the country's digitalisation team stated this in Abuja while speaking as guest lecturer at the third anniversary of NTA/Startimes TV joint venture in Nigeria.

The world of broadcasting, under the auspices of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) had set June 17, 2015, as the final date for all Analogue Terrestrial Television Transmitters to be switched off and be replaced by digital transmitters.

But the federal government had set January 1, 2015, as its own date to migrate to digital broadcasting.

Amana, a former Director of Engineering at the NTA, said the revenue would be possible from frequency sale in the spectrum which would have been freed up in digital broadcasting.

He said: "The digital dividend - the spectrum gain after the transition - can be used for mobile broadband. This will enable broadband penetration into the rural areas, with its attendant benefits.

"If properly managed, the sale of this leftover spectrum by auction should yield over $2 billion, over N308 billion."

The Fatora Consult boss said the digital dividend would generate thousands of jobs for the youths and lead to "more channels of diverse programming, giving the viewer more choice, possibility of multi-lingual delivery of programmes and better quality pictures and sound."

The acting Director-General of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Musa Maiyaki, said the authority expects to fully digitalise its services by June 2014 ahead of the international requirement for 2015.

Mayaki said so far, the NTA had digitalised in 32 states of the federation. He said one frequency for over twenty channels over stretches the capacity resulting in freezing of transmission.

The Director NTA-Star TV Network Ltd., Maxwell Loko said it was appropriate to work in order to drum mobile television and handset television in the StarTimes Network in the digital arena so as to celebrate the three-year anniversary.