Cameroon: ITU Sets Deadline for Broadcast Switchover

Regulation & Policy

The International Telecommunications Union has set June 17, 2015 at midnight as the deadline.

The Socio-economic life in Cameroon is going to face some turn due to the transition from the analogue broadcasting system to the digital system. This means that television viewers who currently own analogue TV sets will need to add a decoder devise to convert signals to their sets.

In a bid to master the principles, advantages and constrains of the switchover, the Digital Terrestrial Television, DTT, which according to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is a technology from the analogue broadcasting system, is carrying out a sensitisation campaign for stakeholders who own private television stations, cable network operators and the population to avoid likely cases of resistance and enable stakeholders to take advantage of the major technological development.

During a sensitisation campaign which took place in Buea last October 27, the facilitator Andre Bertrand Mbock said contrary to the analogue TV where only one programme is broadcast on a frequency, DTT enables broadcast on several programmes of 6-12 channels on the same frequency according to currently applicable standards and available technologies. The facilitator said the signals of the DTT will be the final replacement of analogue broadcasting after the 17, June 2015.

As for the reception, Mr Mbock said inhabitants will be required to purchase digital TV sets or acquire decoders to continue using their analogue TV. Stating the advantages of the new system, the facilitator said it will develop the audio-visual sector by fostering the rise of private stakeholders, increase the size of the advertisement market, improve TV image and sound quality, increase in the revenues of audio-video operators due to the reduction of a number of charges as well as create job opportunities for technicians, engineers and journalists.

The Regional Governor of the South West, Bernard Okalia Belai told cable operators that they will have to be a legal framework to govern their functioning. He also appreciated the DTT as it will cause the production of a lot of local programmes.

Source: Cameroon Tribune 6 November 2014