KIGALI - The Director General in the Ministry of Information, Ignatius Kabagambe, has said that the government policy of shifting from analogue to digital broadcasting is of great importance to the country.
Rwanda Information Office (ORINFOR) is set to offer digital transmission as an alternative to the existing analog signals.
“We are very excited about the shift, it’s a project in which we sunk millions of dollars and that is finally materialising,” Kabagambe said.
He added that Rwandans are finally going to enjoy the fruits of the government’s investments by having a wider choice of programmes from a greater number of channels with improved content.
“We are there to give ORINFOR support in terms of policy and laws and we are very happy for the progress so far,” Kabagambe noted.
He stressed that the digital transition is not simply a technical changeover, but an opportunity to provide better broadcasting.
The government allocated $40m (over Rwf 20bn) to ORINFOR, to facilitate the migration from analog to digital broadcasting.
Apart from providing better picture and sound quality, the switchover to digital broadcasting comes with a wide range of benefits to the consumers and operators.
These advantages stem from the fact that it possible to process and compress digital data in a more efficient manner than was the case with analogue signals.
For operators, the switch over is expected to lower costs of transmission and freeing up additional frequencies.
The transition to digital broadcasting will be easier given the low penetration of television services around the country.
With digital broadcasting, top quality images and sound is telecast whereas analogue signals are subject to fade and succumb to different forms of interference.
The technical capacity that digital broadcasting offers is the silver bullet that the country needs to solve the acute shortage of frequencies currently inhibiting investments in broadcast media.
According to officials, once the shift is complete, ORINFOR will have the capacity to telecast eight channels and viewers will be able to have clearer pictures.
The transition deadline of 2015 from analog to digital broadcasting was agreed upon by International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 2006 during its Regional Radio communication Conference held in Geneva