itu regional development forum for africa 9 11 may 2012 kigali n.
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ITU Regional Development Forum for Africa 9-11 May 2012 Kigali. Trends in ICT: Broadcasting Digital Transition and Digital Dividends in Africa by Shola TAYLOR CEO Kemilinks International & former Chairman, Radio Regulations Board, International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

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itu regional development forum for africa 9 11 may 2012 kigali
ITU Regional Development Forum for Africa 9-11 May 2012 Kigali

Trends in ICT: Broadcasting Digital Transition and Digital Dividends in Africa



CEO Kemilinks International & former Chairman, Radio Regulations Board, International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

outline of presentation
Outline of Presentation
  • RR06 and Decisions taken
  • Broadcast environment in Africa
  • DB – opportunity to restructure sector in Africa
  • Policy, Regulatory and Technical – Issues Arising
    • Simulcast, Signal Distributor, Replanning of GE06
    • Standards, STB
  • Digital Dividend
  • Benefits of the transition
  • Key elements of a national strategy
brief on kemilinks international
Brief on Kemilinks International
  • Global consultancy firm focused on development of ICT infrastructure in Africa
  • Set up in 1999 in UK
  • Associate Consultants - all over Africa, Europe, USA
  • Liaison officers in some African countries
  • Handles wide range of ICT consultancy projects up to > US$1m
  • Consultancy, Training, Events Management and Investment facilitation
  • Consultancy – ICT policy, regulatory issues
  • Several major clients across Africa and Europe
rrc and decisions taken
RRC and Decisions taken
  • RRC was to plan all digital terrestrial broadcast services for sound and TV
  • Two sessions : 2004 and 2006
      • S1 : established technical basis for regional agreement, including intersessional studies
      • S2 : to carry out planning exercises + draw the Plan
  • New Plan based on broadcasting standards: T-DAB for sound and DVB-T for TV
  • Complex Planning process using complex software
  • Agreement for digital broadcasting services in the frequency band 174-230MHz and 470-862MHz
  • Transition period from 17 June 2006 to 17 June 2015, allowing some countries an additional five-year extension for the VHF band
current broadcast environment in africa
Current broadcast environment in Africa
  • Government dominated broadcasting for a long time
  • Liberalisation has produced commercial broadcasters
  • Majority of populace depend on FTA
  • Access to TV still low: less 20%
  • Local Content has improved significantly but remains a challenge
  • Pay TV on the rise although still beyond the reach of average African
  • Industry structure remains a challenge in many countries
digital broadcasting opportunity to restructure broadcast sector in africa
Digital Broadcasting- Opportunity to restructure broadcast sector in Africa
  • Mission objectives of a typical broadcaster
    • To educate inform and entertain
  • Industry structure :
    • Public Broadcaster
    • Commercial broadcasters
    • Signal distributors
  • Issues arising
    • Regulatory structures: content vs infrastructure
    • Review of spectrum management philosophy – allocations, assignments, pricing, rights
    • Creation of specialist or niche broadcast entities to
    • New Licensing regime
policy and regulatory issues arising
Policy and Regulatory: Issues Arising
  • Policy Direction: National Committees
  • Introduction of new digital broadcasting media - digital terrestrial broadcasting, mobile broadcasting, IPTV etc
  • Wide Representation desirable : policy maker, regulator, broadcasters, signal distributors, civil society, organised labour, customs
  • Digital Switch On date
  • Analogue Switch off date
  • Dual Illumination period (Simulcasting)
  • Public Broadcaster vs Commercial stations
  • STB (Set top box)
    • cost
    • availability
technical issues arising
Technical – Issues Arising
  • Spectrum allocation & frequency assignment
    • Special frequency channels will be allocated to the current broadcasters to provide for the simulcasting in digital format
  • Selection of suitable standard
  • Nationwide broadcasting network plan
  • Licensing – advisable that no further analogue licence should be issued
  • Infrastructure, particularly signal distribution Infrastructure sharing essential
  • Training for qualified experts
dual illumination





  • Reduces dual illumination costs
  • Reduces risk of technology dumping
  • Provides sufficient time to for uptake and usage of STBs and digital TVs – before cut off date
  • Broadcasters must be encouraged to establish a transition plan
  • National broadcasts will be transmitted as must carry, free-to–view, on any digital terrestrial platform that may be available

Digital Switch-on:

Analogue Switch-off date:

signal distribution model
Signal Distribution Model
  • Establish a common transmission platform for all broadcasting services to optimise available resource
  • Licensing of Signal distributors to ensure the optimal use of broadcasting infrastructure
  • Separate signal distribution entity from the broadcasters
  • Each Signal distributor may provide services on equitable, reasonable, non-preferential and non-discriminatory basis
  • Incumbents could float a signal distribution company to compete with private broadcasters & other interested investors
  • Frequencies will be assigned to signal distributors
replanning of ge06
Replanning of GE06
  • Much has changed since RRC06
    • WRC-07 and WRC-12
    • Demand for mobile broadband
    • 790MHz-862MHz sharing
    • 698MHz – 790MHz studies
    • Need for replanning
  • Need to continue the modification of the GE-06 digital plan in order to accommodate the spectrum required for future mobile broadband
  • Determine the required number of multiplexes
  • Broadcast Transmission Standards
  • DVB-T2 recommended
    • due to many advantages
    • Improved efficiency in spectrum use up to 50%
    • Most widely used
  • Compression Technology
    • Adopt MPEG-4
  • Television system
    • SD, HDTV, 3DTV
    • HDTV/SD format
    • Ensure labeling of equipment which are compliant with the standards adopted
set top boxes
Set Top Boxes
  • STB – Unique tool for universal service
  • Encourage local manufacturing
  • Control System
    • Possibility to prevent STBs to be used outside given area
    • Disable the use of stolen STBs.
    • Encryption Reading Feature
    • Prevents unauthorised STBs from working in country
digital dividend
Digital Dividend
  • Spectrum Africa 2012 concluded thus:
  • “There is a need to ensure that the definition of the “digital dividend” should be all encompassing and should include:
    • The spectrum savings
    • Multichannel Programme Delivery within the normal Single Analogue Programme Channel
    • Transmission to multiple platforms for reception or Trans-platform Delivery
    • Provision of Electronic Programmes Guide – EPG
    • Electronic Service Guide (ESG) – the Programmes and system information service for Mobile DTV.
benefits of the transition i
Benefits of the Transition (I)
  • Content explosion
    • Demand for more content will increase
    • More investment and competition in conten
    • Licensing of archival materials for conversion to digital format creates additional revenue to content owners;
    • More choices
  • Better quality
  • Interactivity
  • Access to Universal Access Funds
  • More jobs
benefits of the transition ii
Benefits of the transition (II)
  • Ability to develop new business streams
    • Value Added Services (VAS) represent additional revenue streams from emergency services, road safety for traffic, air traffic information and other government/private sector concerns;
  • Infrastructure providers – provision of massive infrastructure to cover the whole country
  • Mobile operators – New applications like Mobile TV
  • Local Manufacture of STBs
  • Digital Transition is not a one size fits all, countries are unique with different advantages
conclusion key components of national strategies
Conclusion: Key components of National Strategies
  • Clear policy on digital broadcasting
  • Digital Transition Team: clear mandate and funding
  • Manage stakeholders
    • Govt, regulator, industry, consumers etc
  • Infrastructure
    • replacement and upgrade of existing infrastructure
    • transit all current sites
    • add other services after switch-over
    • Signal Distributor model
  • Local Content development
  • Communication Plan
  • More collaboration between broadcasters and telecom with AUB leading