Communications Minister Faith Muthambi has arrived in Maputo, Mozambique, for bilateral meetings on Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT).
Minister Muthambi is expected to engage her counterpart, Transport and Communications Minister Carlos Alberto Fortes Mesquita, on how to mitigate cross border radio frequency spectrum interference.
The purpose of the Mozambique visit is to sign and conclude a treaty on avoiding radio frequency spectrum interference beyond the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) deadline of June 17 to switch from an analogue broadcasting system to a digital broadcasting system.
The consequence for countries who will not migrate from analogue signal by June 2015 is that they will not be protected against interference.
In the past weeks, Minister Muthambi concluded similar agreements with neighbouring countries Lesotho, Botswana and Swaziland.
“We do these visits because we have prioritised South African communities alongside the borderline areas for the distribution of set-top-boxes in order to mitigate any potential frequency spectrum interferences,” the Minister said.
Over 156 countries signed an ITU agreement, in 2006, to switch from analogue to digital transmission. As part of this binding treaty, the Geneva 2006 agreement set up a frequency plan for Europe, Africa and parts of Asia. All signatories committed to switch off analogue transmission by 2015.
Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT)
DTT is a reliable and much cost efficient means to distribute linear television content and has many aantages over the old, analogue broadcasting that is still in use today.
Digital migration refers to the switch from an analogue broadcasting system to a digital broadcasting system and this has been a world-wide move which is being driven by the ITU.
In order to view digital television signals on an ordinary analogue television set, consumers will need a so-called Set-Top-Box. The purpose of the Set-Top-Box is to convert the DTT signal for reception on an ordinary analogue television set.
If consumers haven’t acquired a set top box by analogue switch-off, they will no longer be able to view the existing terrestrial television broadcasting services
The department anticipates the rollout of Set-Top-Boxes to be completed in the coming 18-24 months so that South Africans can switch off analogue signal and begin to realise the benefits of digital dividend to allow for the rollout of Wireless Broadband Services.
Source : SAnews.gov.za