The fact that digital migration has been the talk of the continient means that it must have a humble beginning; and this humble beginning started in the early 2000 when a number of countries from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Regions 1 & 3 including Europe, Africa, Middle East expressed interest to introduce digital broadcasting.
Consequently, the ITU held the Regional Radiocommunications Conference in Geneva in June 2006 for planning of Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting Service in the frequency bands 174-230 MHz and 470-862 MHz, and drew up the Agreement and associated plans. The Agreement, known as the Geneva 06 (GE06), covered the use of Terrestrial Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB-T) standard for Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting Service and Terrestrial Digital Audio Broadcasting (T-DAB) standard for Digital Terrestrial Sound Broadcasting Service. Kenya is party to this Agreement.
The GE06 Agreement came into force on 17th June 2007 while the Transition period is from 17th June 2006 to 17th June 2015, during which the existing analogue assignments shall be protected. Thereafter, the analogue frequencies will be cancelled by the ITU and cease to be used in the countries party to agreement.
This is How It Sunk Its Roots In Kenya
a) Digital Television Committee Set Up
Arising from the GE06 Agreement, Kenya set up a multi-stakeholder national migration task force constituted in March, 2007, comprising of the then Communication Commission of Kenya ;CCK(now CA), representatives from the then of Ministry of Information and Communications (now Ministry of ICT)-, Media owners Association (MoA) and the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) to advise the government on a framework for migration so as to meet the international deadline of 17th June, 2015 deadline.
Thus the Digital Television Committee (DTC) was constituted in February, 2008, comprising of; Media Owners Association (MOA), MoICT, CCK, National Communications Secretariat (NCS), KBC, signal distributors, Digital Decoders Dealers Association, Consumer Groups, Digital Broadcasters Association, and Pay TV service providers to implement the recommendation of the National Migration Taskforce. As at January 2014, the DTC had held a total of 74 meetings since its inception, in addition to several other meetings held by its constituent subcommittees namely: the technical, regulatory, and consumer awareness.
b) What Is Pay (Subscription) Broadcasting
Pay TV Broadcasting refers to television and radio services broadcast in encrypted form requiring any person with the appropriate receiving equipment (eg Set Top Box) and to (pay) subscribe to receive the programs (channels) in addition to the initial cost of acquisition of the receiver.
c) How About Self-Provisioning License?
A Self-Provisioning Broadcasting Signal Distribution (SPBSD) license is a license that allows an entity to roll out its own network or utilize its existing infrastructure network to carry its own content. However the entity will in addition be required to have a broadcast content license.
d) Do You Require A SpecificSet Top Box (STB) To Receive FTA Channels?
NO. Consumers do not need a specific Set Top Box to receive and watch Free-to-Air (FTA) channels. Any Type approved FTA set Top Box should be able to receive all Free to air channels.
The Authority Type Approves set top boxes and Integrated Digital TVs for use in Kenya, details are available on the Digital Kenya website: www.digitalkenya.go.ke