South Africa is now gearing to initiate the country’s long belated analogue switch-off project on 1 February 2016, TechCentral reports. Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said: ‘Cabinet was briefed on [the] progress made on the digital migration programme. It approved the commencement of the dual illumination period for the digital broadcasting signal on 1 February 2016.’ The official added that the migration from analogue to digital broadcasting services will release ‘the much-needed frequency spectrum’ – suitable for the provision of 4G LTE mobile broadband services – and will increase the competitiveness of the South African economy.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the migration process deadline, which was originally scheduled for completion in November 2011 in line with a Cabinet decision taken in 2007, has since been pushed back to 1 December 2013, and subsequently 17 June 2015 (the International Telecommunication Union’s [ITU’s] deadline for analogue switch-off). The country however failed to meet the international deadline.