Ghana on course to meet deadline for migration from analogue broadcast to digital

Mr George Andah..

Mr George Andah..

Ghana’s migration from Analogue Television Broadcasting to digital platform is on course to meet the close of 2018 deadline as about 95 per cent of the population now has access to the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) network.

Ghana, following a recommendation by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to all countries to migrate from analogue broadcasting to digital by June 2015, commenced processes to have a DTT network.

 

A number of countries have been able to migrate including some in Africa but Ghana missed the deadline.

 

The Ministry of Communications in October 2015, signed a contract with K-Net Limited for the rolling out of the DTT project which demanded the completion of the DTT network within 12 months.

 

In view of the project implementation challenges, the migration which was earlier scheduled for completion in September 2017 was shifted to this year.

 

According to Deputy Minister of Communications, Mr. George Andah, the DTT network currently carries at least 40 standard definition (SD) television programme channels in digital format and 20 Radio on DTT Multiplexer.

Speaking yesterday in Accra at the second preparatory meeting for the World Radio-Communication Conference 2019 (WRC-19) for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region, he said the ministry has established conformance and Type Approval Laboratory for telecommunication equipment and broadcasting receivers that were being imported into the country to ensure they meet the required standards.

The conference brought together industry regulators from Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Senegal, and Sierra Leone among others to address the radio spectrum needs through the attainment of a common position for the ECOWAS sub-region.

The outcomes from the meeting would play a contributory role in deliberations at the upcoming third  ATU meetings scheduled to be held in Egypt.

As regulators, Mr. Andah said it was imperative they remain proactive in the communications industry to identify areas which requires a raise in focus.

He said the need for instant connectivity between people and machines in today’s world requires that the utility of existing wireless resources were upscaled to close the digital divide and ensure that no one was left behind in the global transition.

The deputy minister explained that effective policies were thus needed to facilitate the judicious use of the communication spectrum to support the delivery of efficient health service, access to education, as well as scientific and technical advancement.

In furthering the region’s joint goals, Mr. Andah asked the participants to focus on the provision of additional frequencies to meet the rapidly growing demand for mobile broadband communications, in particular the introduction of International Mobile Telecommunication (IMT) 2020, regulatory conditions for the operation of Earth Stations in Motions (ESIMs), among others.

Mr. Joe Anokye, Director General of the National Communication Authority (NCA) said the value on radio frequency spectrum and orbital resources in today’s digital age could not be overemphasised saying that these resources were critical to human progress and impact largely on connection within the global community and provide platforms for continuously emerging digital economies.

Mr. Elhadji Maman Laminou, Executive Secretary, West Africa Telecommunication Regulators Assembly (WATRA) said the organisation was working to create conditions and take actions that support member states to more effectively achieve their mission of providing affordable and high quality communications and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) services to consumers in West Africa.

The conference, he said was to exchange views on WRC 19 agenda items in order to get common positions on all outlined points to enable him submit a strong common position via the whole Africa common position during the WRC 19 in Egypt.

He said radio-frequency spectrum was a crucial resource for telecommunications network particularly in African where 99.99 per cent of access in ICT and telecommunications services was through wireless mobile.

By Claude Nyarko Adams and Abigail Nketia

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