NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 6 – The analogue television broadcast signal will be switched off in Nairobi on December 13 this year.
Communication Commission of Kenya Director General Francis Wangusi says the move is aimed at ensuring Kenya complies with international agreements on the digital migration globally.
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) resolution requires all member states to migrate by June 17, 2015.
Wangusi says other major towns that include Mombasa, Malindi, Nyeri, Meru, Kisumu, Webuye, Kisii, Nakuru and Eldoret will be switched off on March 30 next year.
The other areas will be switched off in June next year.
Users are now required to purchase set-top boxes in the remaining three months.
Decoders that are compliant with MPEG 4 DVB-T2 standard will also be used.
He asked users to take advantage of the three-month period and buy the compliant set-top boxes and urged Kenyan entrepreneurs to organize to import the gadgets into the country.
“We considered the fact that in the month of December during the festival mood, people will be able to purchase; we considered a grace period of three months for users to prepare themselves,” Wangusi said.
He said the decision has been collaborative with all stakeholders included but however revealed that Consumer Federation of Kenya (COFEK) – who were against the switch, did not appear in any meetings.
“We have also asked both Startimes and GOtv to open up their decoders for free to air television,” he revealed.
He said the digital migration will provide the country with digital dividends which will accommodate other service arising from emerging technological developments.
Users will also be able to enjoy a wider choice of programmes, and also allow for a diversity and plurality of content on the platforms.
The government in 2012 waived import duty on set top boxes to encourage more importation of the gadgets.
Currently, 26 models of set top boxes have been type-approved.
Wangusi urged the members of the public to only purchase compliant set top boxes in order to enjoy the benefits of digital migration and not be left out at the time of the analogue switch off.