UBC spins off Signet for Uganda's DTT distribution

DetailsRebecca Hawkes | 18 December 2014

Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) has launched an affiliated body, Signet, to spearhead distribution of digital terrestrial television (DTT) signals across the country.

UBC board approval of Signet's formation came in November after protests from media operators against signal distribution staying solely in the hands of the national broadcaster.

Headed by Eng. Sam Batanda, Signet will be based in the Kampala suburb of Bugolobi.

Uganda still has a long way to go to meet the ITU's global deadline for digital migration in June 2015. Frequency coordination has now been conducted with neighbours Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, DRC and South Sudan, according to reports, and one digital terrestrial transmission site has been set up and switched on at Kololo covering Kampala and the surrounding area.

By April 2015, 17 other DTT transmission sites will be set up by the government to cover the whole of Uganda, says Signet, though many remain skeptical that this deadline can be met.

MultiChoice Uganda, which claims to have invested over US$20million to set up 13 transmission sites across the country, has renewed calls on the government to open up DTT signal distribution in Uganda to the private sector.