Broadcasting Tech

Sentech Loses USD 12 Million Yearly Due To Digital TV Delay

South Africa's broadcasting signal distributor Sentech has announced that the delay in the execution of its digital migration programme costs it a yearly loss of R150 Million (12 Million US Dollars). According to the Communications Minister of South Africa.

South Africa is three years behind in execution of migrating from analogue to digital terrestrial television. The government had made an agreement with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), an agency of the United Nations, that by June 2015 it would have complete the project.

According to the Communications Minister, “There is the urgent need to finalise the execution of digital migration in the coming year in order to release the analogue spectrum to telecommunications network providers.

The minister said that Sentech would soon conclude a business plan and funding model for a South African-owned communications satellite which aims to reduce our current leasing costs to government and build our technical skills.

Earlier reports have revealed that the reason for the delays has been the uncertainty of policies majorly due to disagreements about the roll-out of the devices required for decoding digital signals for analogue television sets known as set-top boxes.

This delay has caused reputation damage that comes with the lateness of moving to digital. Not only reputational damage but a cost that South Africa has lost through the inability to migrate as at when due.

The migration from analogue to digital would be in line with global best practice and would free up more broadband for faster and more affordable Internet access. Other countries, including some in the African continent, are ahead of South Africa regarding digital terrestrial television.

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