It is “quite embarrassing” that South Africa went from potentially being one of the first in the world to migrate to digital terrestrial television (DTT), to missing the migration deadline of 17 June 2015.
That’s the word from South Africa’s Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Siyabonga Cwele.
Speaking at Satnac 2015, Cwele said the issue of the digital dividend and spectrum is critical.
The digital dividend is the frequency spectrum bands that will be available when the migration from analogue to digital TV broadcasting is completed.
Mobile operators have said these lower frequency bands – particularly the 800MHz band – are well suited for rolling out wireless networks to rural areas, and for indoor signal penetration.
Cwele said it is unfortunate that the government could not move to release the spectrum due to the legal challenge that E-tv brought against the amendments made by the Department of Communications to South Africa’s broadcasting policy.
“USAASA is sitting with the money [for DTT set-top boxes]. We are ready for orders, but we are not placing orders,” said Cwele.
On top of that, some of the equipment Sentech has deployed for digital TV needs upgrading.
Jan Vermeulen was a guest of Telkom at Satnac 2015.