South Africa’s Communications Minister, Mrs Dina Pule demonstrated its DVB-T2 digital terrestrial TV system for the nation’s local news media.
The country’s commercial launch of DTT will take place in December, although trial signals are now being beamed. For almost the whole of next year the analogue and digital transmissions will co-exist, with plenty of reminders that viewers need to buy a new converter box in order to receive the new programming.
South Africa’s government is subsidising the cost of new set-top boxes to the tune of 70 percent to the poorest 5 million in the country.
All South Africans will benefit from and be able to afford to move from analogue to digital television in line with world standards,” Pule told her audience in Motswedimosa outside Kimberley. Pule said that state signal distributor Sentech had currently achieved digital terrestrial television (DTT) network coverage of 61 per cent of the population, and was on track to reach 80 per cent coverage by March 2013 and 88 per cent coverage by December 2013. The remaining 12 per cent of households will be covered by satellite technology.
“The SABC is fully prepared to transmit SABC 1, 2 and 3 on the DTT network. It will also have a 24-hour news channel available for the DTT launch. Both SABC and e-TV are collaborating on a free-to-air partnership. e-TV and M-Net are ready to launch on the DTT platform and are awaiting approvals on Icasa regulations and tariff structures.”