Uncertainty Over Digital Migration As Deadline Looms Top story

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In short
Consequently, the national broadcaster, Uganda Broadcasting Corporation-UBC set up Signet to help Uganda beat the deadline to migrate from analogue to digital broadcasting.

With about eight days left to the International deadline for digital migration, Signet Uganda, the sole signal distributor in Uganda is skeptical about the country's ability to make the switch.Once the installation is complete TV viewers will be required to install a Digital TV set top box or digital TV set to be able to pick signals. 

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) set June 17th as the deadline for all African countries to migrate from analogue to digital broadcasting. Through digital broadcasting, viewers have access to better quality pictures and sound, as well as more channels.
 
Consequently, the national broadcaster, Uganda Broadcasting Corporation-UBC set up Signet to help Uganda beat the deadline to migrate from analogue to digital broadcasting. However, Engineer Sam Batanda the manager Signet Uganda says the installation of key equipment to facilitate digital signal distribution across the country is yet to be done. 

According to engineer Batanda, the company had expected that all installations would be concluded by this month in vain.
 

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He says Signet has already engaged with players in the broadcasting industry on this. 
 
Batanda says that with Kampala and Entebbe already switched to digital broadcasting, the remaining 17 sites including Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, Ntungamo and Jinja, can be linked to digital platform in phases.

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Kin Kariisa, the chairman National Association of Broadcasters told URN in a phone interview that the association is aware of the new developments. Kariisa however says they have called a meeting on Wednesday to harmonise their position and chat away forward.

"I cannot give you much detail on this but we will sit and discuss how best we can try to beat the deadline as was set by the ITU," he said. This meeting has also been confirmed by Eng. Batanda, who says the contractors will give an update on progress regarding the process.

The digital migration process has been marred by delays and questions by NAB over the capacity and legality of Signet to be the sole signal distributor in Uganda. 

 

About the author

Olive Eyotaru
Olive Eyotaru is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Eyotaru has been a URN staff member since February 2015.

Eyotaru started practising journalism while still studying at Uganda Christian University. She was a reporter with Ultimate Media Consult Ltd between 2005 and 2007.

In 2009, Eyotaru joined Monitor Publications Limited, under KFM Radio as a parliamentary and business reporter. Consequently, Eyotaru started writing for the Daily Monitor newspaper until January 2015, when she moved to URN.

She is interested in reporting about politics, health, human rights, business and sports.