Kenya back on track for digital TV migration
Rebecca Hawkes
| 05 December 2014
The Kenyan Government and industry stakeholders have agreed a phased schedule for the switch off of analogue television transmission beginning 31 December 2014, following the Supreme Court ruling at the end of September 2014.

A second attempt switch off analogue broadcasting in Nairobi and its environs will take place on New Year's Eve, while phase two will see the end of analogue TV in Mombasa, Malindi, Nyeri, Meru, Kisumu, Webuye, Kakamega, Kisii, Nakuru, Eldoret, Nyahururu (Nyadundo), Machakos, Narok and Loldiani (Rongai) on 2 February 2015.

The final phase, on 30 March 2015, will cover Garissa, Kitui, Lodwar, Lokichogio, Kapenguria, Kabarnet, Migori, Voi (Vuria), Mbwinzau/Kibwezi, Namanga and all other remaining sites.

"The phased approach will help in improving the subsequent phases based on lessons learnt. It will also give adequate time for consumer awareness and importation and local distribution of set-top boxes to beef up the current stock across the country. We further believe that setting the timelines will catalyse consumer uptake of set-top boxes and equally motivate vendors to increase their stock levels," said Francis W Wangusi, director general, Communications Authority of Kenya.

Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang'I said although it has been a "long and contracted process" there was no choice but to embrace digital terrestrial television (DTT), given the June 2015 global deadline for digital migration, set by the ITU.

"This process brings the single biggest change to television broadcasting in Kenya; digital TV will deliver more choices for viewers and pave the way for exciting new services thus securing Kenya's place as a regional player and leader in creative industries," said Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang'I in a statement.

"I wish to urge all Kenyans to embrace the new digital era by purchasing set-top boxes," he added.