Rwanda Development Bank (BRD) is set to sign a deal with private business operators who are interested in the importation and supply of digital TVs as the country shifts from analog to digital broadcasting.
Rwanda has stepped up efforts to switch to digital broadcasting to meet the Geneva based International Telecommunication Union (ITU) deadline of 2015 to adopt terrestrial digital broadcasting.
Innocent Nkurunziza, the Director of the Technical Department at the National Information Office (ORINFOR), said that BRD will facilitate the supply of 1,500 TVs in the first batch. The number is likely to increase depending on the trend of business direction, he said.
“Negotiations are in advanced stages; the bank met business people who are interested and we (ONFOR) have given them technical specifications,” he said.
Industry experts say that with digital high quality pictures, editing is much faster and safer compared to analogue.
Nkurunziza said ORINFOR will contract its transmitters to a private firm, which will manage the pricing and monitoring of subscribers. Eight channels are expected to be hosted.
He assured that prices charged per channel will be lower than those charged by other pay TVs in the country.
Digital broadcasting is a key driver that will bring ICT revolution because of its powerfulness to reach many people at the same time.
To prepare Rwandans for the shift, Government stopped issuing licenses to prospective investors intending to broadcast using analogue.
According to Nkurunzinza, the digital TVs will cost between $100 and $300 each.
However, when contacted the Director General of BRD, Jack Kayonga said that it was still premature to announce the deal, saying that it’s subject to approval of the Bank’s Board.