Rwanda Information Office (ORINFOR) is set to start broadcasting digital content, starting next year in mid January.
This was revealed yesterday by Willy Rukundo, the Acting Director General of ORINFOR, during an interview with The New Times.
He said that they are working with an American company — Harris — that is on the ground upgrading the system from analog to digital and installing new antennas.
“According to their schedule, they were supposed to have completed by the 15th of this month but they met some hitches in terms of ensuring that they commission the network when its fully operational, and there were some few equipment that could not connect well and they gave us a new time frame where by mid January they will hand over the project,” he said.
He added that they are going to have the capacity of running eight channels and the viewers will be able to have clear pictures because of the new shift.
Rukundo stressed that the problem they haven’t yet solved which ORINFOR cannot handle alone is that when they start to broadcast in digital system many people will not be able to receive their signal in their homes unless they buy digital TV sets or Set Top Box (STB) which they can fix on the analog set to convert the signal.
He appealed to government to involve the private sector and subsidise the cost of buying digital TV sets or STB to make them affordable to households with analog equipment.
“We are still discussing with our parent ministry (information) so that they take it up to the cabinet and make a decision but fortunately what we are going to do in mid January is what we call ‘dual elimination’ whereby we shall have content in both formats,” he explained.
“It will work like transition to make sure that the stakeholders can discuss it and come to an agreement... maybe come 2012 they will have made a decision because by then we shall have to completely phase out the analog system.”
The transition deadline of 2015 from analog to digital Broadcasting was set by International Telecommunication Union (ITU) members in 2006 during ITU’s Regional Radio communication Conference in Geneva.