International Telecommunication Union, ITU, yesterday disclosed that after the deadline for the switchover from analogue to Digital Terrestrial Television, DTT, Nigeria, South Africa and 52 other countries had missed the deadline to migrate from analogue to digital broadcasting.
The 17 June deadline for switching off analogue television broadcasting in the UHF band was set by ITU member-states at the Regional Radio Communication Conference in 2006, known as the GE06 Regional Agreement to which Nigeria was a signatory.
In a statement it issued yesterday, ITU said several countries which are party to the GE06 Agreement, as well as many who are not, have made the transition while others have not.
According to the ITU Secretary-General, Houlin Zhao, “Today, 17 June (yesterday), marks a historic landmark in the transition from analogue to digital television broadcasting.
“The process, which began in June 2006, has re-envisioned the way the world watches and interacts with TV and opened the way for new innovations and developments in the broadcast industry,” he said.
Though it gave condition for switching over as availability of funds, Nigeria has asked for an extension by the ITU, with new focus on December 2017 for her to be able to migrate from analogue to digital transmission.
Among the countries which failed to meet the deadline are Albania, Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Colombia, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Mexico, Montenegro, Myanmar, Niger, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Russian Federation, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, South Sudan, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Others are Armenia, Bangladesh, Belize, Central African Republic, Comoros, Egypt, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Jamaica, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, Namibia, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Turkey.
Even though ITU did not in the statement say what it will do to countries which failed to meet the deadline, Nigeria Broadcasting Commission, NBC, had on Tuesday in a statement said “that the main penalty Nigeria will face is that analogue signals will receive no protection in the event of interference with or from digital signals from our neighbours, most of who are also unable to transit to digital.”
However, Kenya was reported to have met the deadline. A statement by Kenya’s ICT Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang’i said:
“We have come a long way but I am glad that we have embraced digital migration. But what is more important to note is that these challenges have not been unique to Kenya as many countries continue to deal with similar issues on their path to full digital TV broadcasting.”
Digital migration refers to the shift from analogue broadcasting to digital broadcasting, involving many changes in the transmission signals so that members of the public can buy high definition television sets and dispose of their standard definition television sets.

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