Chamisa warns Zimbabwe in danger of missing ITU deadline

via Chamisa warns Zimbabwe in danger of missing ITU deadline | SW Radio Africa by Tichaona Sibanda on Thursday, May 8, 2014

Nelson Chamisa, the MDC-T MP for Kuwadzana, has warned Zimbabwe faces the danger of missing the 2015 deadline set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for broadcasting from analogue to digital.

The former minister of Information and Communications Technology told journalists in Harare on Thursday that the country stands the risk of paying the painful penalty of being isolated from the world’s broadcasting community if they fail to meet the deadline.

Already struggling national broadcaster ZBC missed the 2013 SADC digitalization deadline, with speculation that time is fast running out to meet next year’s deadline.

‘The net effect of missing the deadline is that we are going to be switched off. This is a very serious issue for citizens in terms of accessing the communications services,’ Chamisa said.

But the ruling ZANU PF government says it is confident that it will meet the June 2015 international digital deadline. Information minister Jonathan Moyo last year gave assurances that digitalization of broadcast services will be achieved in line with the requirements of the ITU.

Chamisa said it is envisaged that switching to digitalization would make it possible for up to 80 television stations to be introduced, a development confirmed by Moyo in an interview with the state media in September last year.

‘Digitalization is one of our priority areas, especially with respect to broadcasting. We will have to switch off the analogue system by June 2015…when the digitalization starts, you won’t have to worry about ZBC alone or at all,’ Moyo said.

Government strictly controls the airwaves in Zimbabwe and it is unlikely that any independent broadcasts would be allowed to apply for licenses. The costs of running a television station are also huge, and that would create an additional problem for any private broadcaster.

An expert in the telecommunications field told SW Radio Africa that the advantages of digitalization, apart from accommodating more than 20 TV channels on a single frequency, is that there is better quality picture, access to interactive services and the creation of pay TV platforms.

Almost all countries that have migrated from analogue to digital in SADC have done so with the help of their governments. It is not clear how the broke ZANU PF government will find the resources to fund the mismanaged ZBC to carry out this hugely expensive project before the June 2015 deadline.



  • comment-avatar
    roving ambassador. 8 years ago

    Misplaced priorities, crying for more Zanu propaganda machines. We never learn.
    Is there a strategic committee in the MDC?

  • comment-avatar
    Mlimo 8 years ago

    With the lack of a free press and media as well as Internet monitoring who cares. Zimbabwe is well on its way to the Stone Age. This government has higher priorities. They won’t be in govt much longer and can leave the problem to who ever takes over. No one believes what is spewed forth from local controlled zanupf media.

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    Chaka 8 years ago

    With the high salaries they pay themselves, in 2015 J Moyo will be announcing they cld not do it due to no funds

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    Justice 8 years ago

    Only a good thing if ZBC is shut down!

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    Mixed Race 8 years ago

    This telecommunication expert left out one vital disadvantage of digital broadcasting network.It is correct that it gives high quality picture and good sound,however this is purely dependent on the signal strength and quality.If the signal is poor from the transmitter[which is normal with ZTV] then the receivers in that area would get no picture or sound because it works on the principle of there or not there like 1s and zeros,this translates to having the signal or not with no in between levels.What this means is that the tvs in the homes will have pictures and sound or blank screens.The analogue system allowed for varying signal strength to be watched with reduced quality.
    Secondly,the tv receivers manufactured before 1998 have no digital tuners,therefore those with old sets at home will have to buy new tv sets.The majority of our rural and growth points people cannot avoid new tv sets.
    I can see a situation whereby the government is forced to use the Digital to Analogue Converters to maintain the old terrestrial analogue transmitters to cover the rest of the country.They can digitalise the main highways which carry the bulk of the programs from Pockets Hill Studios to the rest of the transmitters using the already digitalised microwave links between all major towns and then use the D/A converters to match the analogue transmitters which then transmit the analogue programs to the tv sets at homes.
    The problem with this is that very few countries will carry on manufacturing these analogue and bulky sets and and analogue transmitters,therefore circumstances will force us to comply with the rest of the world sooner or latter.Mixed Race

  • comment-avatar
    Mixed Race 8 years ago

    ps-correction NOT avoid but afford