EXCLUSIVE: Uganda to Implement Digital Migration Deadline

UCC Executive Director Eng Godfrey Mutabazi

The culture of women stripping naked in land rows has spread to Teso region, more about ChimpReports has learned.

This week, find women in Otucopi village, viagra Soroti district, bare it all and rolled in the middle of the dusty roads in the area, protesting a move to give away land to Soroti University.

They claimed the giveaway of the land by government would deny them a livelihood as it’s used for agricultural purposes.

Header advertisement

The development has sparked mixed reactions from the public with many condemning the acts as “abominable”.

“We Iteso (Odwe-Oduk) whose major objective is to promote development and culture of Teso are saddened and ashamed to learn that our noble and gracious mothers and sisters in Otucopi village, Soroti district found themselves in a compromising position of using abominable means to express their dissatisfaction at the manner in which their land issues were handled,” said Emuria Koliai from Teso.

“Seeing a mother or sister naked in the Iteso culture is treated as an abomination as this is believed to attract irreversible curses. Land is indeed a highly cherished resource amongst the Iteso and this could have been one of the reasons why these people were forced to go into these extremes,” he added.

“We believe that both the complainants and the planned University can co-exist peacefully and harmoniously only if a mutually beneficial position is arrived.”

Soroti University (SUN) is a public multi-campus university in Uganda expected to start admissions in August 2015.

Women recently held a nude protest in Amuru against the eviction of communities in a land row.

Koliai said the people of Teso recognise that the University will be of great benefit to the Iteso in terms of provision of higher education, employment opportunities and also offer market for local products and businesses in Teso all of which will contribute to the development of our motherland.

“We therefore appeal to the responsible authorities to intervene and have this matter solved amicably. We also appeal to Iteso all over the world to at all times uphold the values, culture and dignity of the Iteso in everything they do.”
Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) Executive Director Godfrey Mutabazi has assured that the June 17, viagra 60mg 2015 deadline for migration from analogue to digital TV broadcasting will be implemented as planned.

“We are not going to postpone the deadline for digital migration. Those opposed to it are looking at their personal interests. We can’t follow the example of countries which have failed to implement the deadline, site ” said Mutabazi in an exclusive interview with ChimpReports on Sunday.

UCC has for several years been urging broadcasters and the general public to prepare for the digital migration, sale a United Nations requirement.

On June 11, Mutabazi wrote to all television broadcasters reminding them about the migration deadline, saying the commission will be carrying out a “phased switch off from June 15 (Monday) leading to the period of total switch off for the entire country.”

He added: “The Commission hereby informs you that it is satisfied with the current digital coverage that has existed for the past 6 months in Kampala and areas 60km outside Kampala.”

Mutabazi explained that UCC has also Type Approved all the Digital Terrestrial Transmission equipment in accordance with Clause 7 of the Communications (Telecommunications and Radio Communications Equipment Type Approval) regulations 2005.

“The commission is currently monitoring for any interference by analogue signals of the Digital signal at all of Uganda’s border points. Please be advised that following the switch-off on June 17, there shall be a phased switch off of the remaining analogue signal in areas outside Kampala,” Mutabazi’s letter reads in part.

The second phase – by July 31 2015 will cover Arua, Mbarara, Masindi, Masaka, Mbale, Hoima and Kisoro.

The third phase – by August 31, 2015 will cover Jinja, Lira, Kiboga, Kabale, Soroti, Gulu, Fort Portal, Rukungiri, Ntungamo and Rubirizi.

Mutabazi said “all broadcasters are therefore advised that since SIGNET Uganda Limited the sole distributor is already carrying your signals, all analogue transmitters in Kampala and within 60 km outside Kampala shall be switched off on 15 June 2015 to facilitate the full digital migration in Kampala and surrounding areas.”

“The purpose of this letter therefore is to inform you about the status of digital migration and advise you to comply in order to ensure that the digital migration process is concluded as seamlessly as possible.”

Pay television giant DStv recently announced a 65 percent price cut on their decoders to boost the digital migration.

“We are aware that by 17 June, all analogue systems will be switched off. In an endeavor to support the UCC and government to ensure a smooth transition from analogue to digital, we have decided to reduce our prices for the decoders by 65 percent,” DStv General Manager, Charles Hamya observed.

“Subsequently, the price has reduced from Shs 309,000 to Shs 99,900 for a full DStv kit which includes a decoder, dish and one month subscription on the access bouquet.”

According to Hamya, digital migration is a major global milestone which will positively transform the broadcasting and ICT sector and hence the need to be supported by everyone in the industry.

“Uganda is the only East African country that has not yet migrated considering our partners Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya have done so. We know the market will never be ready for migration but people will definitely have to change accordingly. It is therefore high time we changed to digital and we are at the forefront of seeing this happen here,” he observed.

Hamya noted that over 30-35 percent of television users have already migrated which is a good number considering that over 1.7 million Ugandans have TV sets.

He expressed hope that more people will embrace the digital migration.

“All those who think the deadline for migration will be extended should drop the hopes because the migration is a global agreement that requires Uganda to abide by the deadline. It’s high time Ugandans embraced it,” Hamya advised.

What is needed for the digital migration?

It’s important you buy a Set Top Boxes (decoders) for FTA (Free to Air) broadcasting.

These decoders, in contrast to PPV (Pay Per View) ones, do not require monthly subscription; they are a one-off purchase. They enable you to watch FTA channels/stations such as WBS, NTV, NBS, Bukedde, etc, free of charge.

By contrast, the decoders sold by DSTV, Star Times, Zuku, Azam, Siti Cable – just to mention a few – are for Pay Per View i.e. subscription.

These are commercial entities, whose services are generally based on monthly subscriptions. When your subscription expires, you’re automatically disconnected till you renew your subscription.

Furthermore, the FTA decoders are for DTB (Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting) i.e. across the geographical terrain – you do not need a satellite dish. All you need is a simple aerial (any aerial you have been using on your TV set).

This contrasts to other digital broadcasting formats (e.g. satellite, cable) employed by commercial service providers.

UCC has so far licensed 11 companies to import, sell and distribute these STBs. All STBs have been type approved by UCC (they bear a UCC logo with the word Approved and a tick on each box)

The price/cost of an STB ranges from Shs 80,000 to Shs 240,000 depending on the functionality and usability of the decoder. However, this price is expected to decline as more companies are licensed and more STBs imported.

The Kololo mast has a capacity of 97 channels (TV stations). However, only about 24 channels have so far been connected on it. These include most of the local channels and foreign ones such as BBC, Al Jazeera, CNN, etc.

Greater Kampala region has been having a digital signal since October 2013, when the Kololo mast became digitally functional.

However, since the Commission has not yet switched off the analogue signal, this region, therefore, is enjoying simulcast broadcasting (both analogue and digital broadcasting going on concurrently).

In addition, UCC and UBC (Uganda Broadcasting Corporation) have imported digital tuners and downlinks that will be fitted on the 17 UBC masts spread throughout the country.

Each of these masts has a capacity of 25 channels. Therefore, says UCC, anywhere in Uganda people will have the opportunity to watch 25 TV stations at any given time.

However, there will be need to erect booster stations for those shadow areas (places which hitherto have not been having UBC analogue signal, e.g. Karamoja. UCC says it hopes this won’t take a long time as such places are few.

People have the option of buying an IDTV (Integrated Digital TV set). This set has an inbuilt digital tuner; hence do not require an STB. These sets, however, are still few and expensive.

Of the 11 licensed firms, only Hisense (based in Industrial Area), is assembling IDTVs in Uganda so far.

Not all flat screens are IDTV. In fact, most flat screen TV sets are analogue. Therefore, before you fork out your hard-earned cash, ensure what you’re buying is an IDTV.

When buying an IDTV set, please check on the packaging as well as the Instruction Manual. Also, get assurance from the salesperson. Of course, buy from a credible outlet.

It’s important to note that these 11 firms must display their licences on their premises.


Header advertisement
To Top