GHANA, yesterday announced that full migration from analog to digital terrestrial television broadcasting in Ghana will be in February 2016, much later than the June 2015 deadline.
The Minister of Communications, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah, who announced this after receiving an evaluation report from bidders for the deployment of digital broadcasting infrastructure in the country, expressed regret that the country could not meet the deadline due to delays in accessing funding for the project.
What it means is that Ghana will miss the June 2015 deadline set under the Geneva 2006 agreement of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Ghanaians would have to wait until February 2016 to switch over from the current analog transmission, to digital broadcasting.
It is unfortunate that the country is unable to meet the deadline, whereas if we had migrated, the country would have earned a substantial amount of foreign exchange.
In fact, it is estimated that Ghana was going to earn 230million dollars as digital dividend from the migration.
According to our information, the projection is based on the fact that the switch-over would enable parts of the electromagnetic spectrum to be freed up, because digital broadcasting requires fewer spectrums.
The freed up spectrum could then be made available to telecommunication industries to enhance data usage, internet connectivity and reliability to propel the digital economy.
Ghana stood an immense chance of benefiting from the project, but unfortunately it appears we would have to delay the benefit.
Our failure to secure funding for the project is regrettable, and we would urge the Ministry of Communications to do all in its power to ensure that we do not miss the February 2016 target.
We intend to hold the ministry to its words that the project would now be rolled out in phases, and it is our wish and hope that it would take off smoothly for its successful conclusion.