Zambia has become the latest country to comply with the directive from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). ITU set the international deadline of June 17, 2015, for countries that are still broadcasting via an analogue signal to adapt the digital terrestrial broadcasting.
Thanks to the digital migration, Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) will be the official signal carrier for other television stations operating in the country. ZNBC will also have an initial four channels dedicated to different content for viewers interested in watching news, parliament, sports and children programs.
The country’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, Chishimba Kambwili assured Zambians they need not worry about being hit by TV blackout if their TV sets cannot receive digital signals. The country will be doing dual casting of both analogue and digital signals for the next six months thus giving Zambians enough time to buy digital TV sets or the set-top boxes.
The country will do the digital migration in phases, with the first phase beginning yesterday and expected to cover the railway line from Livingstone in the Southern Province to Chililabombwe in the Copperbelt. Phase two will extend digital broadcasting to the provincial centers, and the third, and last phase will cover the entire country.
Zambian viewers, just like their counterparts in Kenya and other African countries that have already made the digital migration. Stand to benefit from various strengths the digital broadcasting has over analogue broadcasting. Such as better compression enabling broadcasters to provide several channels of programming in a spectrum that was previously only capable to transmit only one analogue channel. This compression of digital signal frees up more space within the spectrum that can further be used by internet service providers to provide Internet to users.
Zambian are now on the dawn of a new and better TV broadcasting services that entails more channels, better picture and sound quality.
[Updated June 22, 2015]
The Digital Migration in Zambia was scheduled to take place today, June 22, 2015 at the Mass Media Complex in Lusaka. The event was to be graced by Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu who is said to have travelled to South Africa for medical treatment.
According to ZNBC Public Relations officer, Mupunga Simukwai, the launch event has been postponed until further notice. However, the invitation cards for invited guests remain valid. For more details on this, click here.