South Africa is in the process of switching off its analogue TV signals and replacing transmissions with a DTT service. The hand-over process, already some 5 years overdue, and is taking much longer than anticipated. The latest promise is that analogue transmissions will cease this coming July.
However, the government-owned signal distributor, Sentech, has warned that it will be some time before the freed-up spectrum would be available for cellular operators.
Sentech says that it has to “digitally restructure” the digital TV spectrum. Sentech says: “The restacking process can only be implemented after analogue switch-off as the current DTT (digital terrestrial TV) network was fitted around the existing terrestrial analogue services,” it said.
“The restacking process will most probably be a phased hard switch-over approach and therefore requires meticulous planning and implementation progression to ensure that existing DTT services are not interrupted,” said Sentech to the country’s regulator ICASA.