Africa set to deploy digital television
47 Sub-Saharan African countries agree on frequency coordination for digital
switchover in 2015
Geneva, 5 September 2013 – Frequency coordination
negotiations have succeeded in setting up the mechanism to deploy digital
television in 47 Sub-Saharan African countries.
The consolidation of national plans to implement the digital switchover in
the African region is in conformity with the deadlines of June 2015 (for UHF)
and June 2020 (for VHF in 33 countries) set in 2006 by ITU’s Regional
Radiocommunication Conference (RRC-06), which adopted the GE06 TV Plan.
This landmark also makes Africa the first region to be in a position in 2015
to allocate bandwidth freed up by the transition to digital television – the
so-called ‘digital dividend’ – to the mobile service for both the 700 MHz and
800 MHz bands. Decisions of the World Radiocommunication Conference 2012
(WRC-12) to facilitate availability of the digital dividend to the mobile
service will be effective with some technical refinements immediately after the
next World Radiocommunication Conference in 2015 (WRC-15).
ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré expressed his appreciation to the
high level of cooperation extended to the process by African Telecommunications
Union (ATU) and its Secretary-General, Mr Abdoulkarim Soumaila.
Mr François Rancy, Director of ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau, announced
that sub-Saharan African countries have begun submitting official modifications
to the GE06 Plan following the final frequency coordination meeting held in
Nairobi, 17-19 July 2013 and the deadline of 31 August set for notifications.
“The objective was to enable African countries to allocate the digital
dividend to mobile services in the band 694-862 MHz, as a regionally harmonized
implementation of the decisions taken at the World Radiocommunication Conference
in 2012,” Rancy said. “This objective was reached by re-planning the spectrum
requirements of television broadcasting in the 470-694 MHz frequency band.”
The meeting in Nairobi organized jointly by ITU and the African
Telecommunications Union (ATU) and hosted by the Communications Commission of
Kenya (CCK), attracted 124 participants from 35 Member States. It was the third
and last overall coordination meeting of African countries, after similar
meetings in Bamako (March 2011) and Kampala (April 2011) and a number of other
bilateral and multilateral meetings held in 2011 and 2012.
For more information, please
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information
Communication Officer, Radiocommunication Bureau