Dar es Salaam. The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has named Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Tanga, Arusha, Moshi, Mbeya and Mwanza as cities and towns which will receive TV broadcasting in a digital format from December 31 onwards.
The authority has made this announcement following the completion of studies and trials on the digital broadcast in the respective towns and cities, saying results were promising.
According to the Tcra, Morogoro Region has been placed on trial while Mtwara, Lindi, Kigoma, Musoma and Iringa were placed in the later implementation phase. Presenting a paper on the digital migration during a training session for workers of the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology, Tcra Corporate Communications Manager Mr Innocent Mungy explained that the regions which receive digital broadcast are the same that are covered by the analogue network.
“24 per cent of the country is connected to the analogue system, 23 per cent will receive the digital signal in the first phase. Overall, 76 per cent of the country is not connected to any TV signal at the moment”, he said.
The implementation phase faces several challenges, among them the expenses of broadcasting both analogue and digital programmes. Consequently, the Tcra argues that there is a need for a definite shift towards digital broadcasting.
A further challenge is the mobilisation of local content production, which is not very prominent at the moment. Additionally, the import of electronic equipment which will be superfluous after the shift needs to be stopped. Otherwise, the Tanzanian market will be spoiled with these gadgets.
The shift brings along expenses for private persons, though: they need to purchase receivers, which cost between Sh 9, 000 and Sh 40,000, depending on the broadcaster.
The Permanent Secretary of the ministry of Communication, Science and Technology, Dr Florens Turuka, urged Tanzanians to buy the receivers at recommended prices.