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October 28th marks the beginning of the Analogue Switch-Off (ASO) in South Africa. This major national milestone forms part of the country’s Broadcasting Digital Migration (BDM) process, and will begin in the Northern Cape within the Square Kilometer Array (SKA). The original target to complete the process had been June 17th 2015.
SENTECH, the state-owned broadcasting signal distributor, fulfilled its mandate by concluding its DTT infrastructure installation process of the 178 transmitter stations nationwide and a Direct-To-Home (DTH) broadcasting infrastructure to ensure 100 per cent DTT access for South African citizens.
“It is an honour for SENTECH to be a part of this milestone event and we remain committed to ensuring connected citizens through a digital network,” declared SENTECH’s CEO, Mlamli Booi. “The migration from analogue to digital television presents more opportunities for broadcasters in terms of content proliferation and affords South African audiences, a wider range of higher quality television channels. SENTECH acknowledges the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services continued support during this digital migration period. I would like to thank the Honourable Minister Dr. Siyabonga Cwele for ensuring that SENTECH remains focused on its mandate for delivering universal access to content delivery through our high technology open access DTT infrastructure.”
In addition SENTECH was mandated to enable the DTT Contact Centre to assist the general public with technical and logistics related questions such as decoder activation process, installation troubleshooting and general DTT roll out information.
To deliver on its mandate, the DTT Contact Centre administers all inbound calls to provide South African audiences DTT support by channelling all DTT queries to the relevant Broadcasting Digital Migration (BDM) Stakeholders. The DTT Contact Centre has been instrumental in ensuring an average of 99 per cent activations within the Northern Cape’s SKA areas.
The ASO will be undertaken in phases across the nine provinces, starting with the Northern Cape and followed by the Free State, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and Gauteng.