Minister for Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has disclosed government’s intention to implement a road map to migrate the country from analogue to Digital Television Transmission (DTT) stage.
The DTT, which is under the ICT Infrastructure Development policy is being reviewed to be incorporated into finalized documents, submitted to cabinet for approval and subsequent implementation after stakeholder engagements.
“Government is implementing a road map to migrate the country from analogue to digital television transmission. The ‘As-Built’ DTT Network platform by K-Net Limited has two multiplexes with a full capacity of 40 Standard Definition channels. The capacity has been exhausted by existing analogue broadcasters and new broadcasters who have been authorized by the National Communication Authority to operate,” she said
The DTT project which was to be executed in three phases started with the completion of the first phase in April 2016, where the network platform became operational, feeding six sites in Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions and running 27 programme channels.
In October 2016, sixteen sites were completed in four regions namely; Upper East, Upper West, Northern and Volta but had to be shut down due to inadequate power supply.
The third phase of the project according to the Communication Ministry was completed in February 2017, covering 20 sites in four regions including the Brong Ahafo, Eastern, Central and Western Regions
According to her, the Ministry has completed the provision of dedicated power to thirty-seven Digital Terrestrial Transmission sites in eight regions in the country. Other regions and localized channels would be reached soon and rolled out onto the platform.
Contractors of the project; NEDCO engineers, KNET Limited are said to provide the dedicated power into the transmitters to ensure the availability of digital broadcasting signals in the Eastern, Western, Central, Volta, Brong Ahafo, Upper East, Upper West and the Northern Region.
She revealed that international broadcasting companies such as France 24, CNN among other media giants have expressed interest in localizing their content on the DTT platform when the capacity is available and is rolled out.
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) entreated all governments worldwide to migrate from analogue broadcasting to digital by June 2015 and number of countries including some African countries have been able to do so but the story in Ghana is different.
Though Ghana is noted as one of the technologically advanced countries in Africa, it has not been able to meet the deadline for the digital migration.
In 2015, the Ministry of Communication signed a contract with K-Net Limited to roll out the DTT project within 12 months.