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Ghana to meet Digital Migration deadline- George Andah

The Deputy Minister for Communications, George Andah has assured that government will work assiduously to meet the deadline for digital migration system .

Ghana has already missed the June 2016 deadline for the migration from analogue to digital television platform and is expected to roll it out by September this year.

In an interview on the sidelines of the celebration of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day Mr. Andah said the current deadline which has been set for the end of September this year will be met provided the present work force and speed is maintained

He stated that digital migration is key on the agenda of the ministry as it would enhance effective communication to Ghanaians.

“As far as digital migration is concerned we have built a number of sites and last two weeks the team and I went for an inspection on a number of site that have been built” Mr. Andah said.

He added that there is a lot of work to be done, to meet the deadline.

“A significant amount of work has to be done but we are working with the service providers as well as independent engineers, the whole team is working on it to make sure that we will be able to deliver by the deadline.

We have to understand the scope of work that is left and to make sure that we are actually spot on as far as infrastructure is concerned.

We are spot on as far as content is concerned and then we can have a smooth migration so that all Ghanaians will have a sweet smooth experience going forward,” he assured.

Background of digital migration

Ghana has already missed the June 2016 deadline for the migration from analogue to digital television platform.

The global timeline for all countries to migrate unto the digital platform is 2020. Failure to meet this time period will lead to a complete cut off of defaulting countries.

Ghana signed on to the Geneva 2006 (GE-06) Agreement of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) establishing the Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting Frequency Plan in the radio frequency bands 174–230 MHz (VHF Band III) and 470–862 MHz (UHF Bands IV&V).

The Agreement provided for a transition period during which the analogue television services and digital services will co-exist before the analogue services are switched off.

The transition periods were set to end on 17th June 2015 for the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Band and 17th June 2020 for the Very High Frequency (VHF) Band.

But Ghana has decided that the transition period for both the UHF and VHF bands should be on 21st September, 2017. Consequently, the Government of Ghana has established a nationwide Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) network that would provide coverage to at least 95% of the population and to carry at least forty (40) standard definition (SD) television programme channels in digital format.

About WTISD

The theme for this year’s World Communication and Information Society Day was “Big Data, Big Impact.

The programme explored the power of big data for development and examine the opportunities to covert unprecedented quantities of data into information that can drive development.

The purpose of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide.

May 17 marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union.

World Telecommunication Day has been celebrated annually on 17 May since 1969, marking the founding of ITU and the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865.