Having missed the 2015 International Telecommunications Union, ITU, deadline for migration from analogue to digital broadcasting, the Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation, NBC, has put in place new timelines towards achieving the ECOWAS 2017 Deadline for Digital Switchover, DSO.
The NBC Director-General, Mr. Emeka Mba, while addressing journalists in Lagos announced the new switchover critical milestone.
Mba said set top boxes are necessary and critical to the successful migration.
He noted that off-shore mass production and delivery of initial subvented boxes for the Jos pilot project was envisaged to be completed by the end of October, while the local manufacturing of set top boxes is expected to begin in April 2016.
He explained that critical activities for the signal transmission infrastructure include publishing the RFP, concluding the National Signal Mapping, awarding the transmission MDAs, designating the ITS for Jos and beginning live digital transmission with plans for this to be done by the end of December.
According to him, “As part of efforts to ensure the sustainable funding of the national digital terrestrial infrastructure, the government approved a fixed annual service charge payable on all DTT set top boxes and TV sets, this fee known as the Digital Access Fee, DAF, shall also be paid by all current operators on the DTT spectrum.
“Channels RFP: By the end of December, we intend to have, through due process, allocated the freeview licences and launched the Jos pilot channels.’’
He said CAS/Data Centre is part of the brain box of the nation’s digital operations. In this segment, we plan to have the building works, commissioning of the data centre mother integration of the head end and the live deployment of the Central Authentication Service by the first week of November.
“By the end of November 2015, we plan to complete the process of setting up the Contact Centre, which would become available for all enquiries from members of the public regarding the implementation of the DSO.
“DSO’s Long term Economic impact: Nigeria’s self-funding DSO programme created a N320 billion pa win-win-win for: Consumers: receive over 30 new free to air channels per annum for the price of a N1,500 STB; And a host of value added services such as news, information and video on demand; A leading digital economy is established from the development of a whole TV and content ecosystem and N200 billion p/a boost from additional advertising, content and Nollywood income streams.”
On plans to raise fund for the DSO, Mba said the commission has raised N34 billion from the licensing of MTN to provide pay TV services over the country’s digital-terrestrial network.
He explained that the spectrum sold to MTN was ‘lying fallow’, adding that it raised about 50 percent of the budget to finance digital switchover.
Mba, however, revealed plans to launch 30 new channels on the platform and hoped to realise N100 billion from digital dividend spectrum sales.

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