Communication Ministry saves Ghana USD 13m on DTT roll out
By Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana
Ghana’s Ministry of Communications has signed an USD $82.3M contract agreement with K-NET Limited, a fully owned Ghanaian entity, for the roll out of the National Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) network solution. This prudent move embarked on by the Ministry has saved the nation a whopping USD $13 Million.
Under the contract K-Net is expected to complete the DTT network project in twelve months, where nine months will be used to execute the project and a further three months for resolving all teething challenges. It could be recalled that the government through the communication ministry on the 15th of January this year revoke its USD $ 95,998,530 contract with StarTimes Company for the Ghana Digital Migration (DTT) Project due to the latter’s failure to meet the conditions covering the agreement.
At a short ceremony in Accra to sign the contract for the Digital Terrestrial Television Network project with K-Net, the Minister of Communication Dr. Edward Omane Boamah explained that the engagement of KNET Limited, amplifies the government’s resolve to develop local capacity in every sector of the Ghanaian economy and that the payment for the contract sum of US$82.3M will be made from the proceeds of the auction of the spectrum to be released following migration of broadcasters from analogue to digital referred to as the “Digital Dividend”.
According to him the auction of the digital dividend and the use of part of the proceeds in financing the DTT network roll out eliminate the need for any loans either concessionary or commercial for this project and provide certainty on the implementation program to the comfort of all stakeholders. The contract is for the supply and installation of a Digital Video Broadcasting Second Generation Terrestrial (DVB-T2) network.
The rolling out of a nationwide digital terrestrial television project promises enormous prospects including employment opportunities for the distribution, sale, installation and maintenance of set top boxes. It is also likely to offer 7,000 direct and indirect jobs within next two year for the STB sector.
Dr Omane Boamah revealed further that the terrestrial network will be complemented with satellite services within the protocol framework that ensures that all areas are adequately served with digital TV signals.
“Upon completion of the network roll out, the analogue and digital transmissions will run concurrently (simulcast) for a period not exceeding one year for the uptake of the digital system before a complete switch-off of the analogue transmitters."
He said the Ministry and the Digital Broadcasting Migration Committee (DBMC) have prepared comprehensive public education and awareness materials for the migration from analogue to digital television. “The campaign will be rolled out. We would like to call on all broadcasters to assist the Ministry and the NCA to sustain the public education and awareness campaign when it commences. This is to ensure that we educate and carry along all stakeholders during the migration process," he added.