Ahead June 2017, Nigeria races to spread digital broadcasting blanket

Ahead June 2017, Nigeria races to spread digital broadcasting blanket

Ahead June 2017, Nigeria races to spread digital broadcasting blanket

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Nigeria is racing against time to spread nationwide digital broadcasting blanket ahead of the June 2017 deadline for completion of migration from analogue to digital TV services.

The Federal Government, at the launch of pilot phase of the digital broadcasting switch-over in Jos, says that 200,000 Set Top Boxes will be given free of charge to TV consumers in Plateau State.

At the launching ceremony held Saturday, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, disclosed this while calling on the local and state governments to help by buying the boxes which the Federal Government has highly subsidised for their citizens.

According to Mohammed, “having missed two previous switch-over deadlines, we put our shoulder to the wheel and here we are! Now, we are ready to go from city to city until we have covered the entire length and breadth of our country by the June 2017 deadline.”

[quote font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”right” bgcolor=”#” color=”#” bcolor=”#” arrow=”yes”]According to the Minister, the Plateau State Government has also agreed to buy 300,000 boxes for its citizens while the Federal Government is targeting 30 million viewers across the country, which will make Nigeria the biggest Free TV market in the world.[/quote]According to the Minister, the Plateau State Government has also agreed to buy 300,000 boxes for its citizens while the Federal Government is targeting 30 million viewers across the country, which will make Nigeria the biggest Free TV market in the world.

Ahead June 2017, Nigeria races to spread digital broadcasting blanket
Satellites transmitting digital TV signals

Mohammed says the digital switchover underway in Nigeria “will become the much-needed panacea to the menace of piracy dogging the music and movie industries because musicians and movie producers will be able to release their works directly to the platform, where they can be purchased, thus wrong-footing those who have been pirating their works.”

Noting that the switch-over journey started in 2004, when the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Council adopted Resolution 1185 on transition from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting, he says that the transition is finally nearing its destination with the launch that kick-starts the digitization process of broadcasting in Nigeria.

“This is a monumental event, because with the switch over, we are revolutionizing the broadcast landscape and architecture, as well as the local, state and national economy. More importantly, we are democratizing the right to know, the right to knowledge and the right to be informed.

“This is simply because with what we are doing today, the average Jos person does not need to pay subscription to watch the best news and entertainment from around the world. And this with high quality sound and high resolution picture, which are equal, if not superior to any in the world”, according to Mohammed.

According to the Minister, “compared to yesterday when the average Jos person can only watch five (5) TV channels at best, he can now watch fifteen (15) TV channels, local and international news as well as local and foreign entertainment.”

According to him, “through the information service, he can also get news about government activities without going on the Internet. While watching a particular channel, he can also know the other programmes available on that channel, using the EPG, or Electronic Programme Guide.”[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”right” arrow=”yes”]”The Minister reckons that the transition from analogue to digital will trigger a chain of retailers and installers of the Set Top Boxes that will have a massive impact on the local economy.”[/quote]

Ahead June 2017, Nigeria races to spread digital broadcasting blanket
People walk by in Ikeja Computer Village, Nigeria’s largest technology market cluster. Photo: Kolade Akinola/Technology Times

The Minister reckons that the transition from analogue to digital will trigger a chain of retailers and installers of the Set Top Boxes that will have a massive impact on the local economy.

“In terms of the economy, all licensed Set Top Box manufacturers have been mandated to establish manufacturing companies in Nigeria to produce the boxes locally, after importing the first set of boxes”, the Minister adds.

He believes that “this will create massive employment and also ensure the transfer of technology for our people and due to availability of many channels, there will also be an astronomical increase in the need for content, and this will fire the creative ability of our youths.”

He thanked the Plateau State Government for their support, without which the switch on of this pilot phase would not have been possible. He also thanked all the members of the ‘Digiteam’ as well as the Ministerial Task Force for their uncommon commitment, selflessness and patriotism.

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Elizabeth Edozie Technology Journalist @Technology Times 08077671659 elizabeth.edozie@technologytimes.ng