South Africa’s plans to switch off its analogue TV transmissions and replace with digital terrestrial TV have suffered more than their share of false dawns. Now the country’s president says the nation will start the shift in March.
President Cyril Ramaphosa last week told the National Assembly in his ‘State of the Nation’ speech that the sell-off and licensing of spectrum – despite some considerable ongoing litigation – is at an advanced stage and would not unduly delay the spectrum auction.
“After many delays, we will begin the phased switch-off of our analogue TV transmitters from next month. It is anticipated that this process, which will be done province-by-province, will be completed by the end of March 2022,” he stated.
He added that the auction was one aspect of a “massive roll-out of infrastructure” throughout the country.
Ramaphosa talked about the benefits that would flow from the sale of spectrum and its re-use for wireless and broadband services as well as the availability of extra digital TV channels delivering greater choice for viewers.