As telecom regulators in sub-Saharan Africa plan to comply with ITU GE06 DTT standard that aims to switchover from analogue television (TV) transmission to digital broadcasting, and clear spectrum for broadband services, Rwanda will be among the first countries in East Africa to enforce it. Unlike here in Uganda where the digital migration process has taken years, in Rwanda the four-phase switch from analogue to digital transmission started in January this year and ended yesterday July 31.
Over 51,000 people are now not able to watch their favourite TV programs news broadcasts as the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (Rura) has switched off their analogue TV sets as it concludes the migration from analogue transmission to digital broadcasting. According to figures from the 2010 national census, over 192,800 homes had television sets.
“Out of those, 141,260 (70 per cent of all people with TV sets) homes have acquired decoders,” the regulators said. This means that about 51,540 (27 per cent) do not have decoders. All people with TV sets were expected to have bought set-top boxes, commonly known as decoders by end of today to enable the switchover to digital broadcasting.
Rwanda is now the second country in sub-Saharan Africa to switch off its analogue television signal and migrate to digital broadcasting.The deadline here in Uganda is 30th September, whether the regulator, UCC will extend it is yet to be seen.