Digital migration delayed to 2017 - TechCentral

Digital migration delayed to 2017


South Africa may have to wait until 2017 to complete its migration from analogue to digital terrestrial television, missing the mid-2015 deadline government agreed to with the International Telecommunication Union by two years.

This is the takeaway from the budget vote for the department of communications, which is now leading the migration project.

In the budget vote, the communications department is tasked with ensuring the “successful migration from analogue to digital television in South Africa within two years”.

Some other African countries, including Tanzania, Namibia, Kenya and Mauritius are well ahead of South Africa in their migration plans.

After 17 June, the ITU will no longer protect countries from cross-border radio spectrum interference from those that have completed their projects.

More seriously, the delays in the project mean telecommunications operators must wait longer for access to the “digital dividend”, spectrum currently used for analogue broadcasting that is ideally suited for delivering broadband in underserviced areas.

South Africa’s digital migration project has been delayed for years, most recently because of disagreements about whether the department of communications or the department of telecommunications & postal services would run it.

The telecoms department’s budget vote, also published by national treasury on Wednesday, makes it clear that it will “support” the communications department with the project. Ironically, the telecoms budget vote says the department’s role is to ensure the migration project is completed by June 2015 — to meet the ITU deadline.

The Universal Service & Access Agency of South Africa (Usaasa) will administer a subsidy scheme for set-top boxes, with the telecoms department to provide a subsidy to Sentech for implementing dual illumination, where both analogue and digital signals coexist for a period of time.

Over the next three years, R1bn will be transferred to Usaasa for the project.  — (c) 2015 NewsCentral Media


  1. Delayed only to 2017 ?

    “Over the next three years, R1bn will be transferred to Usaasa for the project”

    I thought the Gov had approved R 4.3 Billion for this project.
    Please dare to make the REAL decision. Can this whole absurd STB subsidy program for the poor. Close USAASA, sell SABC and Sentech.
    Let the new owners decide whether they want to pursue DTT or use satellite only. And let broadcasters market their own decoders with or without CA.

  2. anyone for a bet that they will miss that deadline as well?
    They will miss the next one. And the next. and the next.
    Come 2027, these morons would still be arguing about a standard and after the 7th corrupt deal around standards, the technology would be obsolete and noone would care anymore.

  3. Shafiek Christian on

    Its Time to start the uprising, ANC must be put out …. enough is enough and if you still voting ANC then you must be F illiterate..
    The Frustration of delays of extra TAXES of more NKANDLA Stupids is working on my bluddy nerves, how the heck can some of us still be supporting a government like this who is torturing the POOR while the rich is complaining awwww you charging to much for petrol but we getting richer thank you.
    The WORLD ORDER IS TRUE …. The poor are meant to become poor and a nuisance to society while the rich gets richer and thinking that they are saving society. My gosh we are all stupid, we are all stupid when we sit back and wait for the DAY when THIS So called ANC Takes this country, we called our beloved country, as an asset for there pockets and the other who benefits, we are blind if we are refusing to start an uprising we need to make this government start feeling, we need to break this government and show them what the people of this country can do, who ever placed the president we should be prepared to replace him.

    Yours Truly,
    We Going to die a bitter death ….

  4. Why sell Sentech?
    Sentech is well in line to meet the ITU deadline. Sentech does not have authority over the shareholder, it can only advise, which it has been doing. By end of March Sentech would completed the DTT roll out as promised with the remainder of coverage serviced by DTH.
    Sentech financial status is very good compared to many SOCs. Sentech received a clean audit for 2 successive years. To me that is good. So my question again,

    Why sell Sentech.

  5. One good outcome to this shambles is that the ANC’s blundering incompetence is now out there on the world stage for every tech. company and government to finally see in all it’s Transformation glory!
    That sentient people actually vote for these Struggle crackers is what disturbs me.

  6. Thousands are now installing Free to Air OpenView HD and entry level DSTV satellite services. Thousands of shacks do have satellite TV and growing by the day. Government should need far less money to sponsor people with digital television.

  7. Why keep Sentech ?

    It might be very well that Sentech at the moment is functioning quite well. It is already many years ago that we could read repeatedly about a female CEO of Sentech heavily involved in money wasting, favouritism and worse.

    Sentech is probably doing the technical work quite satisfactorily.

    But in this time of serious constraints of the state budget and rapidly rising state debts, and a very poorly functioning economy, it would be more than rational to reevaluate the necessity of all but the most core functions of the state.

    There is IMHO absolutely no need in the year 2015, in a modern democracy to still have a state broadcaster and a state signal distributor. But this is in no doubt ideologically as remote, on a different planet from the reigning views in present Gov. Which are still stuck in the dark ages.

    You are welcome to read my endless comments, and strong opinions on this subject below the articles :

    http://www. techcentral. co. za/new-twist-in-set-top-box-saga/54493/

    and : http://www. bdlive. co. za/business/technology/2015/02/04/anc-clears-the-way-for-digital-tv-rollout

    So why keep SABC/Sentech ?

    Delete the spaces after the dots. And below many articles on this subject.

  8. I find it amazing that they are not embarrassed by this delay because of incompetence over and over

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