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Zimbabwe has fully complied with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) requirements for the digitisation of television broadcasting services ahead of the deadline tomorrow, an official said yesterday.

This comes in the wake of widespread fears that people would not be able to receive television signals starting tomorrow.

In a statement, the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe chief executive officer Mr Obert Muganyura said Zimbabwe had complied with the ITU requirement, that should any country continue to operate analogue transmitters after June 17, those analogue transmitters should not interfere with digital services of other countries.

“The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe wishes to aise the public that Zimbabwe is fully compliant with these conditions set by the ITU for June 17 2015,” Mr Muganyura said.

“The conclusion that Zimbabwe is fully compliant with the ITU deadline of June 17, 2015 is based on the fact that, out of Zimbabwe’s 24 analogue transmitters, three transmitters in border areas (Kamativi, Nyanga and Mutare) had the potential to cause interference to the digital services of Zambia and Mozambique,” he said.

Mr Muganyura said the two countries had confirmed that they were not deploying any digital transmitters in such areas where they could interfere with Zimbabwe’s analogue transmitters.

“In conclusion, therefore, although Zimbabwe will not be able to complete its migration process within the transition timeframe of June 17 2015, as not all the necessary elements of the digital system will be in place at this point in time in terms of the importation of equipment and completion of civil works, this is not catastrophic for the country as Zimbabwe is able to meet the ITU compliance requirement,” said Mr Muganyura.

Speaking on the same issue, Transmedia chief executive officer Mrs Florence Sigudu-Matambo said when Zimbabwe switches to digital transmission, people would continue using their analogue television sets with the help of special decoders.

Analogue television sets, which are found in most households, are not compatible with digital transmission and will not be able to directly receive digital transmission for the viewing of digital television services.

“There is nothing to worry about concerning the June 17 deadline, it is not like the Y2K compliance issue that we once faced,” Mrs Sigudu-Matambo said.

“We can’t ask everyone to throw away their television sets.

“We will make sure that everyone has a set-top-box so that they can continue to receive the television signal when we switch to digital transmission,” she said.

She said migrating from analogue to digital broadcasting was a long process, which Zimbabwe had embarked on since 2011, adding that the process was well managed and well co-ordinated.

“No-one will be left out in the cold and we don’t want any misconception about this whole issue,” she said.

Mrs Sigudu-Matambo said digital transmission would bring with it a number of aantages for the country including increased capacity for new television broadcasters, the provision of high quality television services and improved reception of both radio and television transmission.

Source : The Herald