Ghana plans to host a World Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Telecommunication Conference from October 1 to October 4 this year.
This will provide a rare opportunity to showcase Ghana as a hub of ICT and telecommunications in Africa. Against this background, it is important to consider the state of the nation’s preparedness to meet the June 2015 international deadline for Digital Television Migration from analogue.
Ghana signed the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) 2006 Geneva commitment to abandon the broadcast of television on analogue technology by June 2015. First Digital TV - Wilsad Support Limited - a wholly owned Ghanaian enterprise funded by Ghana Growth Fund, is ready and capable of supporting Ghana to meet this June 2015 international deadline to migrate from analogue TV to digital TV.
According to Mr Wison Arthur, head of Wilsad Support Limited, First Digital has successfully implemented the Ghana Digital Television Migration DVB-T2 recommended standards following a multimillion US Dollar investment to upgrade the Wilsad Support Limited's DVB-T Mpeg 2 Multiplexer and TV Service.
At current base capacity, he said First Digital was ready to provide Multiplexer T.V service for over 180 television stations including all free-to-air TV services in Ghana.
This means that GTV, TV3, Metro TV, TV Africa, UTV, Viasat, ETV and the rest can be accommodated on First Digital's technical platform at reasonable cost today, without the Government of Ghana spending huge sums of money needed for the country's development on building another national platform, he stated.
This will require the approval of the National Communications Authority (NCA), which has signalled its preparedness to do this in meetings with TV service providers in Ghana.
Mr Arthur gave the assurance that Wilsad and its financial partner, Ghana Growth Fund, had stated their readiness to make the additional investment needed to roll over First Digital DVB-T2 nationwide and expand its capacity. This model PPP approach is ready for implementation and is just waiting for an official go-ahead permission.
He said the technical work had been completed and technology and equipment sourcing concluded, while budgets had been sealed for homes and offices nationwide to enjoy world-class digital TV service, internet services on the box and other next generation data solutions.
“This is another testimony of the reality that given the opportunity, the Ghanaian can deliver,” he stated, adding that once approval is given, Ghana would be ready to join the developed world and other African nations like Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Zambia, South Africa and Uganda to meet the global deadline of June 2015 to migrate from broadcasting TV in analogue technology to DVB -T technology,” Mr Arthur stated.
Mr Arthur noted that the successful migration to DVB-T2 format will free over 90 per cent of spectrum space currently occupied by less than 20 analogue TV stations for other uses and still deliver over 400 digital superior visual and audio quality channels to homes nationwide on the 10 per cent current capacity dedicated to analogue TV broadcast.
One final bonus is that the NCA, in this instance, can ensure Ghanaian control over digital television unlike other areas where foreign domination is the rule. This will make President John Mahama's hope for made-in-Ghana solutions a reality in this area, he stated.
Source: Graphic Online
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