Government has placed an order to purchase 50,000 digital Television sets to facilitate the commitment to migrate from analogue to digital broadcasting by next year.
Digital broadcasting is the practice of using digital data rather than analogue waveforms to carry broadcasts over television channels or assigned radio frequency bands.
The consignment will be shipped in batches with the first to be delivered between four to eight weeks from now.
This was mentioned during an exclusive interview with the contracted company officials on the progress of the migration program.
“The project got delayed a bit , but now we placed an order with the manufacturers and the specifications are being generated and normally, it takes four weeks to eight weeks to get the sets,” said Andrew Nyamvumba, Chief Executive Officer of Digitech, a company hired by government to assist in the implementation of the program.
Once the digital TV sets are in the country, they will be taken to five distribution centres in all provinces across the country. Wilson Kagabo, a Director of Industrial Systems, one of the service providers in the new program, said Digitech is in discussion with financial institutions such as Micro -Finance Institutions, Zigama CSS Bank, Banque Populaire du Rwanda and Umwalimu SACCO to facilitate members of the public to access the new TV sets.
“We have the infrastructure platform and the network is ready, we are designing the content and how is it economically and commercially viable,” Nyamvumba said. Transmitters have been installed across the country and the national television channel can now be accessed countrywide.
In the five year plan, all the 30 districts will be covered with one distribution centre in each district, where they would address technical problems.
However, the contracted firm could not mention the retail price of each TV set.
“We are not in the business of selling TV sets but our core business is in building a platform. However, we do not expect the new sets to be more expensive than the normal TVs,” he said adding that the retail price would depend on how much government would subsidise the price of each set.
Rwanda, like other members of the Geneva-based International Telecommunications Union, signed a treaty in 2006, which set June 17, 2015, as the deadline for all countries to shift from analogue to digital broadcasting.