Tanzania will lead its East African neighbours by being the first to switch off its analogue TV transmissions on December 31st. Generally, African nations are still working slowly towards a 2015 switch-off date. Kenya, for example, is promising to switch off next year after a general election.
The PR spokesman of the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), Innocent Mungy, said as far as Tanzania is concerned, come December 31st midnight, its analogue TV broadcasting will end. “We have been doing it in phases countrywide and we expect to have our last push early next month in all the major towns.”
In many respects Tanzania has it fairly easy as only some 15 per cent of the population even has access to TV signals. Only seven towns out of more than 20 directly covered by terrestrial analogue TV, would need to migrate to digital terrestrial TV. The rest of the country either doesn’t have TV coverage or people access TV through satellites or cables, which won’t need to migrate to digital terrestrial, says Mungy. “And it’s not only about the small population requiring migration; it’s also about Tanzania’s preparedness, which has been hailed globally as a success story and some countries, including South Africa, have come to learn from us,” he added, in an interview with Tanzania’s ‘The Citizen’ newspaper.