NAIROBI: THE GSMA congratulated Kenya and the country’s communications authority on finalising the schedule for the much-anticipated digital switchover.
“With all three phases to be completed by 30 March 2015, Kenya’s announcement demonstrates a clear and welcome commitment to meeting the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) global digital migration deadline of 17 June 2015, Tom Phillips, Chief Regulatory Officer at GSMA, said.
He said the switchover from analogue to digital television allows more efficient use of a limited resource and frees up precious 700MHz and 800MHz spectrum bands, otherwise known as the Digital Dividend.
“This lower frequency spectrum delivers excellent geographic coverage and will be a key enabler for the provision of universal mobile broadband access,” said Phillips.
According to GSMA, unique mobile subscriber penetration in Kenya is currently 40 per cent, which means that more than half of the country is still unconnected.
“The availability of Digital Dividend spectrum for mobile will make life-changing mobile services available to all Kenyans, including the three-quarters of the population who live in rural areas, as well as provide substantial economic benefits and new opportunities for digital entrepreneurship,” he said.
Phillips said Kenya and Tanzania, which has almost completed its digital switchover, were leading the way in East Africa in bringing the benefits of the digital transition to their citizens.
“We hope that other countries in the region will be inspired to follow the Government of Kenya’s example and determine their own digital migration plans in time for next year’s deadline.”
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with more than 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem.
These include handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors.
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY