Botswana will be launching new state-owned television stations as the country edges closer to full digital transmission in October.
Spokesperson for Botswana government Communications and Information Systems, John Thomas Dipowe, said, “The analogue switch off will constitute the completion of the digital migration process to Botswana committed under the Geneva 2006 (GE06) Agreement of the International Telecommunications.”
The Geneva 2006 (GE06) Agreement obliges member countries to migrate their terrestrial transmission from analogue to digital to enhance access to television services by leveraging technological advances brought up by digital technology.
Dipowe noted that the new development will boost the broadcasting industry by driving up demand for local content.
He added that the department of broadcasting will launch three distinct television channels, including a Btv 24 News Channel, Btv One Channel and Btv Two-channel, accessed through set-top boxes already obtainable in the market.
“This comes after the government has installed and tested 45 digital transmitters countrywide, which will enable the public to receive all public and private television services,” Dipowe explained.
In 2012 Botswana began its digital transmission journey when the National Broadcasting Board (NBB) invited the stakeholders to review a draft licensing framework as the country prepared to switch from analogue to digital television broadcasting.
According to media reports, Botswana Authorities eventually adopted Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting – Terrestrial (ISDB-T), as its digital terrestrial television (DTT) standard, after extensive consultation on the two leading international standards – Digital Video Broadcasting-Television second generation (DVB-T2) and ISDB-T.
Botswana is on record as favouring the ISDB-T standard’s adaptability as a platform for socio-economic development and entertainment.