After the Kenya govt announced 30th Decemeber as final day for digital migration in Kenya, Tom Phillips, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA, congratulated the move saying it’s a step forward to development.
“The GSMA congratulates the Government of Kenya and the Communications Authority of Kenya on finalising the schedule for the country’s much-anticipated digital switchover. With all three phases to be completed by 30 March 2015, Kenya’s announcement demonstrates a clear and welcome commitment to meeting the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) global digital migration deadline of 17 June 2015.
The switchover dates comes after the govt awarded the local media houses a license to run their own digital television signals. The move will allow more efficient use of a limited resource and frees up precious 700MHz and 800MHz spectrum bands, otherwise known as the Digital Dividend. This lower frequency spectrum delivers excellent geographic coverage and will be a key enabler for the provision of universal mobile broadband access.
Unique mobile subscriber penetration in Kenya is currently 40 per cent, which means that more than half of the country is still unconnected. The availability of Digital Dividend spectrum for mobile will make life-changing mobile services available to all Kenyans, including the three-quarters of the population who live in rural areas3, as well as provide substantial economic benefits and new opportunities for digital entrepreneurship.
“Kenya and Tanzania, which has almost completed its digital switchover, are leading the way in East Africa in bringing the benefits of the digital transition to their citizens. We hope that other countries in the region will be inspired to follow the Government of Kenya’s example and determine their own digital migration plans in time for next year’s deadline,” concluded Phillips.
The December 30th deadline in Nairobi and the March 2015 deadline in the entire country might not be adhered to as some of the media houses are asking for more time to prepare themselves for the move after being licenced just days ago.