Lesotho to migrate from analogue to digital TV broadcasting

Lesotho Communications, Science and Technology Minister Mothejoa Metsing today said that his country had joined the rest of the world in making a landmark decision to migrate terrestrial television from analogue to digital broadcasting by June 2015.

Speaking during a stakeholders’ forum on digital migration in the capital Maseru, Mr Metsing said that it was necessary to coordinate the migration processes before 2015, as per regional and global plans, because any television broadcaster transmitting in analogue that could be found to be interfering after 2015 would be shut down without any hesitation.

“Digital migration is not only global but regional as well… Lesotho coordinates its frequency plans with other countries to ensure that there is no interference between broadcasting signals of various countries, hence the analogue broadcasting is protected from interference. But this protection will stop by 2015″, he said.

The minister explained that the main reasons for the world’s migration from analogue to digital was the release of a valuable radio spectrum which can be used for other vital socio-economic services, adding that the spectrum was scarce, therefore its efficient use was necessary if more terrestrial telecommunications and broadcasting services are to be made universally available.

Speaking at the same occasion, the representative of Lesotho Communications Authority, Makhabane Mohale, said analogue migration to digital would offer better quality pictures as well as sound, adding that it could also be integrated into the Internet Protocol Services (IPS) based networks.

Mr Mohale noted that the migration would offer lower costs to broadcasters as it would enable the creation of alternative business models such as signal distribution or content providers.

He said consumers using analogue programming will have to replace their sets with television sets that are equipped with a digital tuner or adapt the current analogue television set by means of an external set-top box, which will convert to digital.

Digital migration is the process of transferring broadcasting services which are offered on the analogue networks to digital based networks.