Kenya digital migration costs soar 'above $400 million

Regulation & Policy

Kenya’s government has thus far spent more than $400 million on its migration from analogue to digital broadcasting, according to an expert.
Information Communications Technology (ICT) sector policy advisor to the Kenyan government, Daniel Onyango Obam, revealed the figure at the just-ended Digital Dialogue Conference held in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Giving a breakdown of the spending, Obam said that the Kenyan government has spent about $300 million in building infrastructure for the migration while signal distributors have spent $100 million on the importation of set-top boxes.
The Kenyan government expects to complete the country’s digital migration before the June 2015 deadline set by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

“Much of the expenses for our digital migration have been spread between the government, the regulator and the licensed signal distributors,” said Obam.
"To my knowledge, the Kenyan government has so far spent over $300 million on infrastructure for the digital migration project. Five million set top boxes were brought in on a subsidised rate of $20 per box,” he said.

Obam said government, through regulators of the digital migration project, has also spent about $2 million on consumer education, which he said has been a critical aspect of the project.

Obam pointed out that that the migration process would be done in phases, starting first in Nairobi.
He urged other East African countries to emulate the “commitment” shown by Kenya to the migration process.

Obam cautioned that countries that fail to migrate from analogue to digital broadcasting in 2015 might face “serious consequences.”
For example, he said that countries that share borders with Kenya will likely experience signal interference on their broadcast communication if they do not migrate to digital broadcasting by 2015, as set by the ITU.