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DIGITAL MIGRATION PLAN AND STRATEGY. Presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Communications 01 June 2010. Introduction. South Africa has fourteen (14) licensed television services:- Public Free to Air: SABC 1, SABC 2 and SABC 3 Commercial free to Air: e-TV

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

DIGITAL MIGRATION PLAN AND STRATEGY

Presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Communications

01 June 2010

slide2

Introduction

  • South Africa has fourteen (14) licensed television services:-
    • Public Free to Air: SABC 1, SABC 2 and SABC 3
    • Commercial free to Air: e-TV
    • Commercial Pay TV: M-Net, Multichoice, On Digital Media, Super 5 Media, WOW TV, and E-Sat
    • Community TV: Trinity, Cape Town, Bay TV, Tshwane and Soweto
  • All public TV services, e-TV, M-Net and community TV use analogue frequencies while commercial pay TV use digital satellite technologies (DVB-S)
slide3

Introduction

  • There are not enough terrestrial frequencies to accommodate the introduction of new community TV, public regional and the opening of competition in the free-to-air market;
  • The Authority recently received two new applications for Community TV in the Eastern Cape and the North West provinces;
  • It is proving to be difficult to address the rising demands in light of frequency scarcity; and
  • Yet, the Authority is committed to facilitate the development of the three tier broadcasting system: public, community and commercial
slide4

The Objective of BDM

  • Broadcasting digital migration (BDM) offers an opportunity to create additional opportunities for other interested services;
  • The uptake of digital technology will free more spectrum currently occupied by the existing services to accommodate rising demand ;
  • The released spectrum will also be utilized to accommodate digital radio, high definition TV and broadband services;
  • Put simply, a frequency that currently carry one TV channel e.g. SABC 1, will carry more than 8 channels with the uptake of digital technology; and
  • The same capacity used for one TV channel will carry over 50 radio services
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The Objective of BDM

  • As stated, part of the spectrum to be released will be used to provide broadband services;
  • This spectrum is in high demand as it is cost effective to deploy and can address universal service and access to ICTs;
  • The Authority’s approach to BDM is thus informed by the following principal objectives:
    • Introduction of quality television viewing
    • Broadening the reach of community and public TV and radio services
    • Ensuring universal access to broadband services
uhf band 470 862 mhz before and after analogue switch off
UHF BAND (470 -862 MHz) BEFORE AND AFTER ANALOGUE SWITCH OFF
  • e.g Gauteng Province

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international obligations
International Obligations
  • The Authority’s approach to BDM is also informed by international law, known as the Geneva 06 Agreement entered into by all countries in region 1 of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a UN Agency for communications;
  • The ITU has three regions: Region 1(Africa, EU and the Middle East; Region 2: the Americas and Region 3: Asia & the Pacific; and
  • The GE 06 excludes all countries in region 2&3 with the exception of the Islamic Rep of Iran which signed the agreement
slide10

International Obligations

  • The GE 06 provides that all contracting parties should conclude the migration process by 17 June 2015;
  • This means that countries that continue to broadcast analogue services will not be protected after that date;
  • West African countries placed a foot note to conclude the migration in the VHF Band by 2020; and
  • South Africa only reserved its right to protect its services in case other countries fail to comply with the GE 06 and the Radio Regulations
international obligations1
International Obligations
  • Contracting members can opt out of the GE 06 under the following conditions:
    • Modifications: this requires re-coordination with neighboring countries before filing with the ITU;
    • Denunciation: a country can file its intention to withdraw from the GEO with the Secretary-General office before it becomes effective after 12 months; and
    • Review: the GE 06 can only be revised by a competent Regional Radio Conference of all countries in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Iran
slide12

DTT Roadmap

  • In 2005, the Minister of Communications appointed a multi-stakeholder Digital Migration Working Group to investigate the country’s DTT Road Map
  • In the meantime, Cabinet decided that South Africa will run a three year dual illumination period, that is, from November 2008-November 2011;
  • The Working Group released its final Report in 2007 laying a foundation for development of the Ministerial policy ,which was finalized on 07 September 2008; and
  • In November 2008, broadcasters commenced their trials as it was no longer feasible to commence with public DTT services on the same day as initially announced
slide13

DTT Roadmap

  • The delay in the commencement of the DTT was due to the absence of all key ingredients needed for DTT:
    • Regulations and the Frequency plan
    • Technical Standards for STBs
    • Manufacture and distribution of STBs
    • Broadcasters state of readiness
slide14

Regulatory Framework for BDM

  • Pursuant to the publication of the Ministerial policy, the Authority started work on the DTT Regulations and the Frequency Plan;
  • This was one of the major projects achieved by the Authority in 2009;
  • The Authority also participated in the development of STB standards driven by the SABS and involving all key players; and
  • The regulations, frequency plan and the technical standards are based on the DVB-T standard in terms of the GE 06
slide15

DTT Regulations

  • The current regulations provide for the migration of SABC, e-TV , M-Net and Trinity which are the holders of analogue frequencies
  • These are the broadcasters that hold the frequency spectrum that needs to be used for the services, as the digital dividend
  • These broadcasters will be allowed to add new channels as an incentive for their costs related to a regulated migration process
  • Meanwhile, the Authority is working on a licensing dispensation to introduce competition to M-Net and e-TV at the end of digital switch-over
slide16

DTT Regulations

  • Community TV services will be accommodated into their dedicated DTT spectrum at the end of migration;
  • The Authority has also completed a document on the framework for the distribution of the Digital Dividend; and
  • The document has been submitted to the Minister as it also reflects on policy issues which are his competency
slide17

Radio Frequency Spectrum for DTT

  • The Authority finalized the frequency plan in 2009 after three sessions of public consultation with all interested parties;
  • The Authority decided to stay as close as possible to the GE 06 to avoid interference with the six (6) neighbouring countries who are also contracting members to the agreement; and
  • While Sentech started to rollout its DTT network, in 2005, before the GE 06, the Authority is engaging Sentech to ensure value for the existing infrastructure, without compromising our international commitments and obligations
slide18

Radio Frequency Spectrum for DTT

  • The DTT Regulations provide for the establishment of the Joint Spectrum co-ordinating Committee comprising all affected broadcasters and their ECNS providers to address “teething problems” in the process;
  • This create a platform for participants to deal with all cases of frequency interference thus protecting the quality of the broadcasts; and
  • The Authority will also review the plan on annual basis to deal with international co-ordination as well as prevent interferences within the Republic
slide19

Set Top Boxes

  • STBs are required by consumers who do not have access to digital TV sets which are priced at over 5000 ZAR;
  • It is estimated that around 5m households will need to be subsidized;
  • This process is currently driven by the DOC and USAASA, and as soon as STBs are available, DTT can commence; and
  • While the Authority has not changed government time frames, it is evident that DTT can only commence once the STBs are available to the public
slide20

Time Frames

  • The Authority is ready to facilitate the commencement of DTT as all regulatory ingredients are in place;
  • To ensure a co-ordinated drive, we participate in a stakeholder forum convened by the by the DOC;
  • The Authority has not evaluated how the renewed discussion on standards led by the DOC will impact on the DTT process; and
  • However, the Authority will make its input should the Minister invite us to do so as required by the law