SA will switch off analogue transmission next year March: Ntshavheni

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The Minister of Communications, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, says the country will finally switch off analogue transmission and go digital in March next year.

The country has already missed the deadline of June 17, 2015 for digital migration, which was part of South Africa’s commitments to the International Telecommunication Union over a decade ago.

She says that government will assist households earning less than R 3 500 a month.

Close to 3.5 million households are using the old analogue TV sets and need to be migrated to modern digital TV transmission.

Households will have to connect their TV sets to the set top box to access the digital signal.

Ntshavheni is urging households who cannot afford the new set top boxes to register at their nearest post office for assistance.

She says, “We call upon all eligible households to register at the nearest post office on or before the 31 October 2021 to receive government assistance with set top boxes installations, we are also finalising a registration app and its details will be announced in the near future.”

ICASA’s new deadline

The completion of digital migration complements ICASA’s new deadline for the auctioning of spectrum announced last week.

Digital migration will allow radio frequency spectrum to be freed up for mobile broadband services.

This will enable mobile operators to provide more offering to their customers.

Ntshavheni says, “Digital migration will also mean improved quality because digital TV pictures are clearer and they will be no more snowy pictures, my mother will call it ‘maranzanranza’ and it will offer improved free to air services. We have more channels compared to the current four on analogue, you will be able to receive 12 channels on DTT. Those of you who are not subscribed to pay TV you should be able to receive SABC Sport, SABC education, SABC Encore which currently you cannot receive on analogue.”

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