Following the inspection of facilities of the Integrated Television Services (ITS) in Ilorin, Kwara State, it has been confirmed that the stage is set for the rollout of the Digital Switch Over (DSO) in Kwara State which will see television stations operating Digital Broadcasting.
From the many benefits of Digital broadcast includes the fact that it has little or no interference, digital signals can also be gotten anywhere with the necessary digital device and it has a better picture quality. Digital technology supports widescreen, unlike analogue which is limited. It also enables TV stations to broadcast multiple channels with different programming.
Digital switchover is a telecommunications terminology that describes the complete migration from the analogue system of broadcasting to a digital form of broadcasting.
The inspection team was led by the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lai Mohammed, the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Modibbo Kawu, and the Chairman of DIGITEAM Nigeria, Edward Amana.
The General Manager, ITS Rotimi Salami, led the inspection team round the transmission station and the control room.
Speaking, the Chairman of the DIGITEAM, Mr Amana, said the lapses previously discovered in the installation had been fixed, adding that Kwara State requires three different sites in order to effectively and efficiently cover the whole State.
Meanwhile, the DG, NBC, Modibbo Kawu, said the Government would be launching digital stations in phases because it requires lots of funds and Nigeria just got out of recession.
“The Country has to take a decision between putting money in infrastructural development, hospitals and what not and also having to put a huge amount of money into digital switchover.
I am sure if the Nigerian Government says we are putting all the money into digital switchover, you will be the very first person to complain so the Government has to prioritize its funding”.
In April 2016, DSO was first launched in Jos, Plateau State, and in December of the same year, it was launched in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Kwara, representing the North Central, is one of the six States earmarked for the next phase of the DSO rollout.
Other States are Kaduna in the North-West, Gombe in the North-East, Osun in the South-West, Delta in the South-South and Enugu in the South-East.
Who are those involved in the DSO process?
2. Signal Distributors
3. Set-Top-Box Manufacturers
4. MiddleWare Supplier
5. Content Aggregator
6. Call Centre Operators
7. Satellite Company Evacuating the Programs
In its quest to move from analogue to digital broadcasting, Nigeria in agreement with ITU, chose June 17, 2012, as its first deadline, but failed to meet up. Nigeria also failed to meet subsequent deadlines including June 17, 2015, and June 17, 2017.
Also, the benchmark for DSO which is 95% digital access across the Country could not be covered.