South Africa’s complete conversion from analogue to digital broadcasting was due to be completed by June 2015. The long-delayed process finally received a push towards the finish line on May 22nd.
The country’s media regulator, ICASA, published its frequency spectrum realignment plan for the frequencies between 470 MHz and 649 MHz and in ICASA’s words: “thereby providing a plan for the phased approach in implementing the analogue television switch-off into digital terrestrial television (DTT) through a single frequency network”.
ICASA added that the plan will further expedite and “fast-track the implementation of DTT, and the concurrent release of the first and second digital dividend spectrum for the deployment [of mobile broadband].”
ICASA acting chairman Keabetswe Modimoeng announced that the new spectrum plan would mean that DTT could access the 470-649 MHz frequencies and allow for analogue TV to be switched off.
The problem is that – not for the first time – no date for the switchover has been given.
There will be a State-organised auction later this year for some of the freed-up spectrum by the nation’s cellular telephony operators.