Rwanda to switch off Analog TV Transmission by end of 2013

RURA satellite


The Rwandan government has announced plans to completely switch off analogue transmission by the end of this year, according to Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (Rura). Rwanda postponed the initial December 31, 2012 deadline to migrate from analogue to digital in TV broadcasting, set by the EAC partner countries due to unavailability of digital broadcasting converters.

Digital broadcasting offers more channels with high quality signal reception.¬† “Our plan is to switch off the last analogue transmitter by the end of this year. The challenge we have is getting enough decoders in time for the Rwandan market,” Jean Baptiste Mutabazi, the head of communication and media regulation at Rura, told The New Times yesterday.

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According to Rura, the scarcity of Set Top Boxes (STBs) that will enable viewers to access digital TV images was still hampering migration from analogue signals.

“When the digital migration was launched in March 2013, we were expecting to get STBs by May 2013 and start switching off analogue transmitters by July 2013 starting with the one of Kigali (Jari and
Rebero) and progressively switch off other transmitters in other areas; however the supply of STBs in the country is not as fast as previously¬† expected,” he said.

STBs drawback:

Mutabazi said the first batch of STBs brought into the country by Tele10 is already finished due to high demand of the devices. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) set 2015 as the global deadline for switching from analogue to digital broadcasting, that allows the introduction of additional services such as high definition television and pay TV on standard TV.

The national broadcaster, Rwanda Broadcasting Corporation, better known as Orinfor, which is currently broadcasting in analogue and digital, plans to switch off analogue content by December 2013, according to Innocent Nkurunziza, the technical director.

“We shall stop dual illumination by the end of this year,” he said, adding that they are already distributing STBS to several sectors as part of the awareness campaign to encourage consumers to buy the decoders.

source: The New Times