By CHILA NAMAIKO -
GOVERNMENT has maintained that Zambia is on course in meeting the deadline of migrating to Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) broadcasting from analogue as set by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on June 17, 2015.
Information and Broadcasting Services Deputy Minister Poniso Njeulu said Cabinet in March this year, approved the policy on digital migration which set guidelines of migrating Zambia’s broadcasting sector from analogy.
Mr Njeulu said Government with support from stakeholders, was committed to ensuring that Zambia met the intended objective of migrating to the digital broadcasting era.
Mr Njeulu made the remarks in Choma yesterday during a stakeholders’ sensitisation meeting on DTT that Zambia would benefit a lot from digital migration in terms of spectrum efficiency, higher video and audio quality coupled with new business opportunities.
“I wish to inform you and emphasise that Government is funding the digital project as a demonstration of its commitment that Zambia moves with the rest of the world in embracing the digital television broadcasting technology,” he said.
He said digital migration would offer opportunities to allocate part of the broadcasting band to other users such as mobile telecommunications, internet and other applications.
He said the digital migration project would be undertaken in three phases which include phase one involving installation of equipmentalong the line of rail from Chililabombwe to Livingstone for a period of eight months.
Phase two would be for provincial centres including the purchase of studio equipment for Lusaka, Kitwe and Livingstone and was expected to run from this year to January 2015.
“Phase three will be implemented in 2015 in line with the ITU deadline and will include the installation of transmission sites in the rest of the country,” he said.
Information and Broadcasting Service Permanent Secretary Bert Mushala said digital migration was a must for Zambia, hence Government making concerted efforts to realise it.
Mr Mushala said Government was putting stringent measures to make Zambia achieve the migration process hence the ministry embarking on public sensitisations in areas like Southern Province starting with Monze, Mazabuka, Choma up to Livingstone.