Rebecca Hawkes | 30-07-2013
Botswana has become the first country in Africa to launch digital terrestrial television (DTT) using the Japanese technology standard ISDB-T, which it only adopted in February 2013.
Its large neighbour to the south, South Africa – along with the other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries – has opted for the European DTT standard DVB-T.
"I wish to express my heartfelt thanks and respect to all Government officials of Botswana who made enormous efforts in deciding to adopt ISDB-T and commence digital TV," said Keiichiro Tachibana, Japan's Vice Minister for Internal Affairs and Communication.
Botswana began its transition to digital broadcasting in 2008 with the appointment of a digital migration task force led by the chairman of the National Broadcasting Board. Botswana's Vice President Ponatshego Kedikilwe said his Government has since invested over P160 million (over €14 million), with 85% of the country covered by digital TV transmission by June 2013, according to TechCentral.
Japan will now provide technology transfer and human resource assistance to Botswana as it migrates from analogue to digital broadcasting.
Speaking at the opening, Tachibana added: "I would like to make today's ceremony an opportunity for other countries in Southern Africa to adopt ISDB-T and prompt a smooth transition of the introduction of digital TV. Japan will continue encouraging other SADC member countries to adopt ISDB-T."
Brazil and some other Latin American countries have adopted ISDB-T, however DVB-T and its successor DVB-T2 have been the most popular DTT standard to be adopted around the globe.