DIGITAL TV TO BE REALITY IN SOUTH AFRICA BY 2018, SAYS COMMUNICATION MINISTER

Digital television should be a reality in South Africa by 2018, says Communication Minister Faith Muthambi, who has already missed an international deadline for digital television broadcasts set for 2015.

Speaking at Moretele, about 00 kilometres north of here Sunday, Muthambi said 2018 was the new deadline for the migration programme in the country, adding that the switch-over from analogue to digital broadcasting would create jobs in the information technology sector.

“We still have families where to have access to a cell phone is a luxury, because of the scarcity of spectrum. For people to have access to TV is a luxury. So, that’s why we are trying to make sure that we speed up this programme for the benefit of the rural poor,” she added.

Muthambi said digital TV had the potential of opening up the airwaves and job opportunities in the information communication technology sector. Once the process of migrating to digital television broadcasting is completed, cheaper broadband and digital space would be available.

“Once we clear that spectrum that is occupied by broadcasters, it means that we will be able to roll out broadband in the country, which means then we are talking about access,” she said.

“As a country, now we have been seen as lagging behind. We have raised the issue of data that is too costly because of the scarcity of spectrum. That’s why you find that now the data is too expensive. Once we clear the spectrum then there would be more spectrum that can also be used for ICT.”

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK