Cabinet approves $82.4m for digital migration contract

Dr Omani Boamah,Minister of Communications

Dr Omani Boamah,Minister of Communications

CABINET yesterday approved US$ 82.4 million for the Digital Migration Contract to be executed by KNET Limited.

The contract is US$ 13 million much cheaper than the Star Times contract which was to cost the country US$ 95 million plus US$ 1 million interest for 22 years.

A statement issued to The Ghanaian Times by the Minister of Communication, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah, said “not only is the contract cheaper, but it saves the nation’s purse at a time when the government is engaged in smart borrowing”.

Also to benefit from the project is the telecom sector, as the high spectrum efficiency allows freeing of the spectrum for the booming telecommunications industry.

Dr. Boamah said the spectrum would be auctioned to pay for the migration process.

Besides, he said advertisers, broadcasters, film makers and actors and many others, would   benefit from the project.

Notwithstanding the fact that KNET Limited is a wholly Ghanaian owned company, the digitisation would increase multiple television channels, clearer pictures and better sound quality.

Dr. Omane Boamah last year expressed concern about delays in getting funding from the Exim Bank to enable Star Times to complete the migration process.

He said it had been decided a different funding arrangement be sought if in the next few weeks, Star Times was not able to raise the money for the project from the China Exim Bank

The initial deadline for the digital migration in the country and across the sub-region was December 2014, but no member of ECOWAS has been able to fully migrate into the digital space partly due to challenges related to funding.

The migration is expected to free more spectrums for use by mobile telecommunication operators in the country and the sub-region to enable them provide better services to clients.

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