Uganda stops sale of 'old' digital set top TV boxesBy | Monday, June 11 2012 at 12:29
The government has asked Ugandans to halt the purchase of DVB-T1 set boxes, as they await a final decision on the technology to be used during the shift to digital technology.
The country follows in the footsteps of neighbouring Kenya which also stopped the sale of the DVB-T1 boxes in favour of DVB-T2. The set-top boxes are used to convert analogue signals into digital ones.
Speaking to the independendent Daily Monitor in an interview, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, the country's ICT minister, said discussions were still on between different government agencies to decide what happens to the older DVB-T1 set boxes currently on the market.
However, he hinted ‘the ultimate pronouncement would ban the DVB-T1 set boxes as the government has already taken a decision on using the DVB-T2 technology.
“Before, you purchase any decoder, inquire which technology it is. If it is DVB-T1, don’t buy or else you stand to lose as the decoder will expire at the end of the year,” Dr Rugunda advised.
Recently the Uganda Communications Commission passed a notice in the media indicating that the government had taken a decision to adopt the DVB-T2 technology.
However, the announcement did not indicate whether the government had also taken a decision on the DVB-T1 boxes currently on sale.
Dr Rugunda said: “The adoption of DVB-T2 technology means that we must ban the importation and sell of the old technology (DVB-T1). It will affect many people but it is the right thing to do.”
However, Mr Richard Kamajugo, the Uganda Revenue Authority commissioner for Customs, told Daily Monitor that the agency had not received any directive on banning the entry of the DVB-T1 boxes.
He said: “I am not aware of any discussion about that matter (DVB-T1 technology), however, he added, “when a final decision is reached, we shall implement it.”
Uganda is currently in the implementation phase of digital migration. Last month DVB-T2 technology was approved as the standard for the distribution of Digital Terrestrial Television services.
However, the decision is likely to affect a number of users and dealers as most are likely to spend again to acquire the new technology.
The Radio Communication Conference held in Geneva in 2006 resolved that Digital Migration was the way forward and consequently set July 2015 as the deadline for the switch from analogue to digital broadcasting.
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