CCK changes policy to cut price of digital TV converters
GOVERNMENT| Aug. 28, 2012, 6:54 p.m.
By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya
Kenya has moved to cut price of digital TV devices that are key in the shift from analogue to Digital TV broadcasting.
The greatest barrier to the success of digital migration has been the access to affordable set-top boxes.
The price of set-top boxes is set to fall by at least over 40% after the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) changed minimum specifications, which allows for importation of equipment that exclusively support free-to-air (FTA) channels.
In the last national budget, the government waived the import taxes on the gadgets to make them cheaper but the CCK policy on what kind of gadgets to import has been an impediment.
Prior to this revision of policy, CCK only allowed importation of set-top boxes on the Digital Video Broadcast Technology 2 (DVB-T2) that could access both pay and free-to-air channels whether or not the consumer subscribes to pay- TV.
It is this “conditional access” feature, a technology allowing pay TV broadcasters to control what viewers watch and one whose installation cost is estimated at about USD40 (Sh3,360), that has been removed.
This now allows vendors to import two types of set-top boxes — the less-advanced gadget only accessing FTA channels like NTV, KTN, Citizen and K24 and the costlier one that allows airing of both free and premium channels.
“The minimum specifications for DVB-T2 set-top boxes have been revised making the conditional access feature optional for DVB-T2 set top boxes intended for use to receive Free-to-Air TV content,” CCK said in a public notice to vendors and consumers on Tuesday
“However, the set-top boxes intended for pay/subscription TV, conditional access still remains a mandatory feature,” added CCK.
With this change the cost of exclusive free-to-air set-top- boxes is expected to go down from the current Sh8,000 a gadget to about Sh4,600.
However the cost would only go down once traders import the cheaper gadgets.
According to Ministry of Information Permanent Secretary, Bitange Ndemo, the digital signal is now available in all the major towns in Kenya and is expected to be available in all parts, at least 80% coverage, by the end of 2012.
MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS
NCC chief urges Fed Govt to relax forex policyThe Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, has urged the Federal Government to consider relaxing its forex policy for telecommunications companies. Read More
No deal with MTN on fine, says ComTech ministerNigeria’s Communications Technology Minister says no concrete deal has been sealed in respect of the fine imposed on MTN. Read More
CA rejects misleading reports on Essar saleThe Chairman of the Communications Authority of Kenya board of directors, Ngene Gituku, has refuted allegations of impropriety and unethical conduct around the sale of Essar Telecom Kenya Ltd. Read More
Smart Africa seeks One Africa NetworkICT Ministers and telecoms regulatory bodies meeting in Kigali have resolved to implement the new One Africa regional telecommunications framework initiative this year. Read More
Kenyan mobile operators fail on QoS targetsThe Communications Authority of Kenya says Kenya’s mobile operators have failed to meet Quality of Service standards for the third year running. Read More
Glo Ghana sanctioned for call setup time delaysThe Ghana NCA says it has sanctioned Ghana’s sixth network operator, Glo, for failing in its Call Setup Time obligation within the Greater Accra region. Read More
Facebook post costs Kenyan $50000A social media user in Kenya has been fined Kshs 5million for allegedly defaming a member of parliament on social media; in a ruling that will set a precedent on any future internet cases in Kenya. Read More
BTCL lists on local bourseA journey that began close to a decade ago has culminated in the first successful privatisation of a Botswana state entity – BTCL. Read More
Huawei appointed lead ICT consultant for UgandaHuawei has been appointed as a lead ICT consultant in Uganda, and has named ten Ugandans to benefit from its Seeds for the Future development programme. Read More
FEATURED STORYCriticism over Remita borne out of ignorance, says SystemSpecs
The CEO of SystemSpecs, the company behind the revenue-saving Nigerian Single Treasury Account (TSA) system, speaks to Biztechafrica.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHIBM Opens First Cloud Data Centre in South Africa
IBM is opening a new IBM Cloud Data Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new cloud center is the result of a close collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom and is designed to support cloud adoption and customer demand across the continent.
COMPANY NEWSRSA research reveals blind spots in threat detection
RSA, The Security Division of EMC, has released the results of a new Threat Detection Effectiveness Survey.Networks Unlimited event highlights SimpliVity's new Omnistack Software
Leading data protection focused distributor invites hyperconverged vendor to discuss disaster recovery and data protection.