CCK Director General Francis Wangusi CC image courtesy of chimgimode2007 on Flickr
The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) has started a consumer awareness campaign on the analogue to digital transmission process, the first phase of which is slated for December 13.
HumanIPO reported earlier this week the first phase of the long-delayed digital migration process, was set to begin in Nairobi on December 13, as the country seeks to meet the global deadline of June 2015 set by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
Under phase one, the areas in and around Nairobi County, Kiambu County, Ngong, Ongáta Rongai, Kitengela, Isinya, Kajiado, Athi River, Machakos and Thika will see analogue transmission switched off, followed by Mombasa, Malindi, Nyeri, Meru, Kisumu, Webuye, Kisii, Nakuru and Eldoret in phase two on March 30, 2014.
The final switchoff for the rest of the regions will take place by June 30, 2014.
“Consumer education on the migration process is necessary to give information about the acquisition of the set-top boxes. The phased approach to the switchoff will give us sufficient time to pre-test the signal strength before the final national switch-off,” said CCK director general Francis Wangusi.
“By phasing out the process, the experience generated from the Nairobi switch off will inform decisions on how to switch the entire country to digital broadcasting.”
Digital broadcasting is expected to cover at least 80 per cent of the Kenyan population, bringing access to digital television and marking the end of the analogue transmission technology.
“The digital platform will not only create more TV choice for consumers but also free up vital capacity that will avail a variety of enhanced broadcasting applications, multimedia data and entertainment services, providing a more efficient use of the country’s broadcasting frequencies,” said Wangusi.
“Under the scheme the country will receive more than 40 free to air (FTA) high-definition channels, thanks to expanded channel capacity. The digital platform will make it possible to accommodate more broadcast content, therefore widening the consumers’ choice of viewership.”
Fred Matiangi, cabinet secretary for ICT, said: “The switch to digital broadcasting will mean more vibrant television viewing as more channels become available on the platform.”
He said the government has approved over 45 set-top box models for use in the country and eliminated duty on the devices to encourage more Kenyans to purchase the gadgets and access it more easily in order to fast track the digital migration process.
Digital transmission is poised to bring to the viewers picture clarity, sound access, availability of more channels and signal strength, widening the reach of television services to all parts of the country.
Digital platforms carry more channels, which is hoped will give investors a window to acquire content provision licenses that have been limited under the current analogue regime due to unavailability of spectrum. The release of spectrum from the digital dividend will enable more services to be deployed.