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African countries meet to discuss digital migration

By By KURIAN MUSA | May 28th 2014 | 2 min read
By By KURIAN MUSA | May 28th 2014

NAIROBI, KENYA: Representatives from over 30 countries are gathered in Nairobi for a summit on digital migration.

Cabinet Secretaries from Kenya, Burundi, Gabon, Niger, Zambia and Burkina Faso presented their countries’ progress on the migration during the three-day African Digital Migration and Spectrum Policy summit yesterday.

Information Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said court cases are dragging the roll out of digital migration in Kenya, even as the country seeks to beat the June 2015 international deadline.

Matiang’i was addressing the discussants, who shared the challenges and experiences in the process.

“The digital spectrum is an important resource that must be managed well so as to ensure maximum benefits from the dividends of the digital platform,” said the CS, adding that the forum is the best opportunity for media stakeholders to strike a compromise.

In an interview on the sidelines of the conference, Matiang’i denied that the Government had no guidelines on release of spectrum to telecommunication firms.

So far, there is no country in Africa that has fully migrated from the analogue to digital platform amid procurement, legal and technical challenges.

Director General of the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) Francis Wangusi said: “It is important to recognise that the released spectrum shall support other services like advanced mobile services, broadcast mobile television, commercial wireless broadband services.”

International Telecommunication Union Director of Radio Communications Bureau Francis Rancy said the digital migration June 2015 deadline cannot be revised to fit those countries that have not made any progress so far.

It emerged that Kenya is the only African country that has not subsidised the cost of set top boxes for consumers.

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