State of Broadcasting and
Digital Migration in the Region


The International Telecommunications Union
(ITU) set June 2020 as the deadline for developing
countries to have fully migrated to digital
terrestrial transmission. This date has come
and gone and countries in Southern Africa are
still at various stages of the digital broadcasting
migration process.
The initial deadline had been June 2015 and
almost all t he SADC countries failed to switch
off all analogue television transmission except
for Mauritius and Tanzania. This is a direct
contrast to the performance of most countries
in Europe and the developed countries which
managed to fully migrate to digital terrestrial
transmission (DTT) and achieve analogue switch
off (ASO) before the June 2015 deadline.
Most countries in the region and beyond adopted
a phased approach to the digital broadcasting
migration (DBM) process and modernisation
of the infrastructure was synchronised with

consumer awareness and acquisition of receive
gadgets, the set top boxes (STBs). Digital
broadcasting migration hinges on three pillars
and these are:





Consumer awareness and set top boxes

It should be noted however that some SADC
countries have made good digital broadcasting
migration progress and are in the final phases of
the process. Others are struggling due to various
factors, chief among them being financial
constraints and lack of urgency to comply with
the ITU timelines. It is also unfortunate that
the Covid -19 pandemic that hit the world from
the beginning of the year 2020 also negatively
impacted the progress of digital broadcasting
migration programs as resources had to be
channelled towards fighting the pandemic.


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