All African countries are required to complete the digital migration by June 2015, as agreed by members of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
The long awaited move will allow the introduction of additional services such as pay TV on standard TV and high definition television, reports The New Times.
RURA's deadline comes against the backdrop of concerns of a lack of set-top boxes (STBs) that will enable viewers to access digital images and RURA’s head of communication and media regulation Jean Baptiste Mutabazi said the first batch of STBs imported into the country by Tele10 is already finished due to high demand of the devices.
“Our plan is to switch off the last analogue transmitter by the end of this year. The challenge we have is getting enough decoders in time for the Rwandan market,” Mutabazi said.
“When the digital migration was launched in March 2013, we were expecting to get STBs by May 2013 and start switching off analogue transmitters by July 2013 starting with the one of Kigali (Jari and Rebero) and progressively switch off other transmitters in other areas; however the supply of STBs in the country is not as fast as previously expected,” he said.
Orinfor, the country’s national broadcaster, has confirmed through its technical director that it is targeting to meet the deadline.
If Rwanda meets the deadline it will be good news for the East African Communications Organizations (EACO) members which had expressed concerns at last week’s congress of member countries.