Industry experts agree that ongoing digital broadcasting migration objectives can be seamlessly attainable with strategically directed collaborations.
From Tuesday, 15th March to Wednesday, 16th March, Broadcast Media Africa (BMA), working with critical stakeholders in Zimbabwe, will be convening a summit on “Broadcasting And Digital Media Summit – Zimbabwe.
BMA conversed with Bryn Mangena, the Spectrum Management Engineer at the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ), ahead of the high-level industry meeting.
During the conversation, Mangena noted a need to have a conversation on digital migration with a broader context that focuses not only on Digital Terrestrial and Satellite Television discussions. He also highlighted that content consumption patterns have shifted from legacy to internet-based platforms. Therefore, telcos should be involved in these digital migrations conversations as they are critical in providing digital broadcasting and media services.
Consider below our excerpt from the conversation with Mr Bryn Mangena ahead of the upcoming summit below:
BMA: Why are you joining the upcoming industry convention?
Bryn Mangena: My decision to participate is mainly driven by the desire to contribute to the body of knowledge on the broadcasting landscape in Zimbabwe. Furthermore, I look forward to networking with other broadcasting industry specialists and building capacity on the regulation of broadcasting services in the digital era.
BMA: How would you describe the relationship between broadcasting, telcos, and digital migration in delivering solid and vibrant digital broadcasting and media services for all?
Bryn Mangena: In this era of digital convergence, there is no doubt that the combination between broadcasting, telcos, and digital migration is critical in delivering vibrant digital broadcasting and media services for all. However, this relationship has not been evident in most African countries where digital migration is only discussed in the context of Digital Terrestrial and Satellite Television. In addition, content consumption patterns have shifted from legacy platforms to internet-based platforms; thus, telcos are a critical component in the provision of digital broadcasting and media services.
BMA: What is the biggest industry challenge faced at the moment in relation to the digital broadcasting switchover?
Bryn Mangena: Various challenges have delayed the digital broadcasting switchover in most African countries. The challenges include the unavailability of Set-Top- Boxes, prohibitive prices of digital television sets, and lack of funding to finance the digital migration projects.
BMA: In your opinion, what do you think can be done to improve the dynamics of broadcast licensing and monitoring operations in Zimbabwe?
Bryn Mangena: Traditionally, the licensing regime in Zimbabwe was platform-based. That means one broadcasting service would require more than one license to provide the same service on multiple platforms. Therefore, there is a need to formulate a technology-neutral licensing regime to avoid dual licensing. In addition, there is a need to craft a code of conduct to which all broadcasters should adhere, failing to which monetary penalties should be levied on the monitoring front. A telemetry system should also be employed to check signal availability for every transmission site in all parts of Zimbabwe to ensure that all Zimbabweans access broadcasting services.
BMA: Could you please tell us what you hope fellow participants will take away from this industry event?
Bryn Mangena: At the end of the industry event, fellow participants should better understand the broadcasting industry in Zimbabwe and the dynamics of the digital broadcasting switchover processes.