Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) will be on top of the agenda during Communications Minister Faith Muthambi’s bilateral engagement visit to Mozambique, on Wednesday.
This will be Minister Muthambi’s first visit to neighbouring Mozambique where she 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 Minister Muthambi’s visit to Mozambique 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.
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.
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.
Speaking at the Youth Month Imbizo in Vyeboom in Limpopo last Sunday, Minister Muthambi said she completed this process and signed the Memorandums of Understanding (MoU’s) in Lesotho, Botswana and Swaziland.
“On Wednesday, I am visiting Mozambique together with the technical team.
“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 at the time.
Minister Muthambi said government is anticipating to expedite the rollout of Set-Top-Boxes (STB’s), which will be locally manufactured, to be completed in the coming 18-24 months for the country to switch off analogue signal and begin to realise the benefits of digital dividend, adding that this will also allow for the rollout of Wireless Broadband Services.
“The progress on this programme so far marks another good story to tell,” she said. Minister Muthambi is still expected to sign agreements with both Namibia and Zimbabwe in the coming few weeks.
Source : SAnews.gov.za