Chinese firm says Kenya digital signal coverage on courseBy CHRISPINUS OMAR | Thursday, May 17 2012 at 18:28
A Chinese firm, which won a highly contested tender to provide digital signals to Kenyan television viewers, has completed its rollout in Nairobi and is likely to cover 70 per cent of the market this year.
The Pan African Network Group is currently working towards the goal of rolling out the digital signal countrywide ahead of an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) deadline of July.
"The digital signal is available in Nairobi. This will increase spectrum capacity," Alfred Ambani, acting Assistant Director of Multi-Media Services at the state-run regulator, the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), told Xinhua late on Wednesday.
Addressing a media open day ahead of the International Telecommunication Day marked on Thursday, Mr Ambani said the cost of assisting television viewers to move to the digital signal from the current analogue signals required a lot of input from the state.
"There will be a cut-off date when we will have to move to digital signal from the analogue. It is important consumers be told to acquire the set top boxes," Ambani told journalists.
The Set Top Boxes will convert current signal to the digital signals.
Mr Ambani said the CCK was exploring various avenues of ensuring the set top boxes are available to the market. The regulator is suggesting the removal of taxes to lower the costs of accessing the gadgets.
The regulator has also issued directives on the standards to be applied by the various importers to ensure that the latest technology is available to users.
CCK insists that it would not switch off to the new signals unless all those currently receiving the analogue signals are able to access them.
"The switch off is dependent on roll out. We will adopt a phased switch off where we will only switch off to the digital signal after as many people as those with analogue signals have acquired the digital signal," Mr Ambani affirmed. (XINHUA)
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