The Ministry of Information and Communications today demonstrated the government’s commitment to digital migration. Speaking at a breakfast event at a Nairobi hotel, the PS in the Ministry, Dr. Bitange Ndemo said that the government will not spare any effort in ensuring the success of this process including the adoption of cutting edge technology standards.
Kenya is among the countries at the forefront in implementing migration from analogue to digital TV broadcasting having set a national target of achieving this by 2012 which is 3 years ahead of the global target set at the ITU Regional Radio Conference held in Geneva in 2006.
The PS also announced that the Second Generation Digital Signal (DVB-T2) is now on air in Nairobi. This is being operated by SIGNET and is operating 10 channels on a pilot basis. The government issued a second license to Pan African Networks Group in October last year and the company will be on air by June 2012. It is important to note that Kenya opted to be an early adopter of the DVB-T2 platform over the older DVB-T platform. This will prove beneficial as the nation will not be forced to go through another expensive upgrade.
The obvious benefits of this migration include better picture quality, clearer sound and higher spectrum efficiency. Approximately 4 million analogue TV sets will require to be connected to the approved set top boxes. This presents a huge business opportunity to importers, suppliers and retailers who were urged to adequately flood the market with the necessary equipment at affordable prices. Broadcasters were also asked to raise content and increase their programming to populate available channels on the platform and meet local content requirements.
Mr. Francis Wangusi, acting Director General of CCK warned against the use of non-type approved set top boxes citing problems of interoperability within the established standards and on the available transmission platforms.