The government yesterday said that it plans mass campaign to sensitise the public on migration to digital broadcasting, dismissing rumours that most TV sets now in use will cease by December this year.
It said that people will continue to access free to air TV stations on their analogue sets after installing decoders.
Communication, Science and Technology Deputy Minister Charles Kitwanga told The Guardian in an exclusive interview that
preparations were on and the technical committee had already been formed which comprises people from his ministry and Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority.
He said the campaign will involve among other things providing education to the public through electronic and print media.
“TCRA has already started educating the people but we think that there is a need of conducting a mass campaign as majority of the people are not aware of the process,” Kitwanga said.
He said the deadline for the world to migrate to digital technology is 2015, but the East African countries including Tanzania have set December 31, this year as the deadline.
The Deputy Minister explained that after migrating to digital technology, people with analogue television sets will be required to install decoders to allow the TV sets to receive digital signals.
Kitwanga said through the decoders people will continue to access free to air television stations like ITV, Channel Ten, Star TV and TBC1 without making any payments.
He said viewers who wanted more channels would have to pay the companies which will be offering such services.
“People with digital television will not be required to install decoders to receive the free to air channels, because the sets are capable of receiving digital signals. However if they want to access more channels they will be required to buy them from the service providers.
According to the Website of Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority all the analogue TV sets can receive digital signals by installing decoders.
The price of decoders would depend on the market, TCRA said noting that currently the price of a decoder ranged between 70,000/- and 100,000/-.
“The prices might drop depending on the increase in the number of people who need them in the market,” information on the website said.
Last month Communication, Science and Technology Minister Prof Makame Mbarawa said the advancement of the digital technology would boost the economy of the country.
“There will be an increase in tax revenues and a reduction in communication expenses,” he explained.
He called upon members of the public to be ready for the adoption of digital technology when the time comes.
Prof Mbarawa said information and communication technologies were growing rapidly and acted as a catalyst for social and economic development.