Kenya yet to tap digital broadcasting potential
GOVERNMENT| Aug. 9, 2012, 12:13 p.m.
By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya
Dr Bitange Ndemo, Kenya’s Ministry of Information Permanent Secretary speaks on how far the country is in the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting and the untapped opportunities.
How far is Kenya in the analogue to digital broadcasting journey?
The DVBT-2 signal is now available in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu. By December, it will be available in all parts of Kenya that have analogue signal. That will be about 80 per cent of the population covered.
What benefits will come with the digital signal?
Digital TV comes with many benefits. Besides sound and picture quality, it can be available in many platforms. Further it gives us the opportunity to create more content in many thematic channels that are arising. By next month, there are going to be vernacular TV channels thus
enabling us to begin to preserve our languages. We shall also be able to provide learning to schools at cheaper rates than ever before.
Does this mean we shall pay to watch once we have the DVBT-2 gadgets or will there be free to-watch channels as there are currently?
No. Free to Air will always be free. There will be many offers of conditional access, but that will the decision of the consumer.
What is the cost of the DVBT-2 after the waiver of import taxes?
I do not know. The costs range from as little as USD5 for basic converter to USD100 for a more advanced converter. Business people have not been importing the basic converters. There are proposals that the Government should actually buy this for consumers just like most countries have done. The trouble will be how to identify who to buy for.
What mechanisms have been put in place to ensure wide reach of these gadgets?
The removal of taxes is one such measure. We also assume that entrepreneurs will find markets throughout the country. Government should not interfere with market forces but if it becomes absolutely necessary there will be some intervention.
What untapped opportunities are there in the digital broadcasting age?
We have not used the digital age to change our image. We need massive content from our end to change this. We also need to change our teaching models to enable the poor to access education.
MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS
SIM deactivation: NCC imposes fines on Etisalat, GloTwo Nigerian carriers, Globacom and Etisalat, have been slammed with N14.4 million in fines for failing to disconnect unregistered SIMs on their networks. Read More
NIMC postpones mandatory use of NINThe National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), has postponed the date for the commencement of the mandatory use of the National Identification Number (NIN), from September 1, this year to January 9, next year. Read More
Tigo Cash first in line to accept e-Goverment payments through IremboTigo Rwanda has announced its partnership with Rwanda Online Platform Ltd (ROPL) for e-Government service payments via the Irembo,gov.rw e-government portal. Read More
SIM deactivation: NCC to sanction telcos over non-complianceThe Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), says it will impose sanctions on Nigeria carriers over partial and non-compliance with its directive to deactivate all SIMs that do not conform to laid down procedures. Read More
Expert wants MDAs to embrace e-revenue collectionAn electronic payment expert, Deremi Atanda, has urged Federal Government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to embrace the use of technology, especially the electronic or e-payment platform to collect revenue. Read More
SADC lends weight to STIThe Southern African Development Community (SADC) has put its weight behind the regional initiatives to boost Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). Read More
NCA to auction Infrastructure LicenseGhana’s National Communication Authority will soon be auctioning its Infrastructure License to the public. Read More
Telcos get 7-day SIM ultimatumThe Nigerian Communications Commission has handed down a seven-day ultimatum to network providers to deactivate all pre-registered SIM cards or face sanctions. Read More
Prof Danbatta named NCC chiefPresident Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Prof Umar Garba Danbatta as the new Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the NCC. Read More
FEATURED STORYAlcatel-Lucent VP calls for collaboration to achieve Data Revolution in Africa
The Vice president of Alcatel-Lucent Africa, Daniel Jaeger, has reiterated the need for African stakeholders to work together to address challenges in the way of ICT development in Africa.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHHigh tech homes: Just press play
High tech, digital homes where everything is automated and connected aren’t the stuff of science fiction any longer, says BNC Technology.
COMPANY NEWSMTN SA expands its FTTH network to the Western Cape
MTN South Africa has expanded its fibre to the home (FTTH) footprint to the Western Cape, and trenching has already commenced in the picturesque suburbs of Fresnaye ...