Digital Migration

“Countries Should Learn From Our Mistakes But Not Be Afraid Of Digital Migration”, Say ZNBC Officials

African countries considering digital migration should “Learn some of the mistakes that we made in the initial stages and some we are still grappling with, but overall it shouldn’t scare you,” says Cliff Kachingwe Sichone, Vice President of TopStar.

Speaking on October 29 at the Broadcasters Convention of Southern Africa 2019 in Zambia, he alongside Malolela Lusambo, Director of Engineering & Technical Services at Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) addressed questions from convention delegates regarding the US$273 million cost of the digital migration, run by the TopStar partnership between ZNBC and China’s StarTimes.

They both stressed that as well as 73 digital transmitter sites, the investment also went towards revamping current studios and constructing brand new studios in provincial centres. “Every province in this country will have its own provincial broadcast studio,” explained Sichone. Lusambo further defended the deal by stressing that it also included three outside broadcast vans.

“To say that US$273 million is probably overboard would be an inaccurate assessment because these things are not cheap,” he emphasised.

However, Sichone cautioned, “I think for us, this project has been beneficial, but regulatory and legal frameworks need to be in tandem with what’s going on, to move at the same speed as the installation.” Digital migration was finalised in October with the completion of the last 10 of the 73 sites.

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