Botswana delivers digital TV consultation paper

DetailsRebecca Hawkes | 13 January 2015

Botswana's communications regulator has issued a public consultation document on digital terrestrial television (DTT) licensing, a move it hopes will help create 'an enabling environment' for all stakeholders.

Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) proposes to license commercial TV stations incorporating both free-to-view (FTA) and subscription-based TV models, while other classes of licence will be considered in 'a holistic licensing framework determined by the Authority', according to a local report.

The regulator also proposes to issue national, regional and zonal DTT licences in order to promote the market entrance and growth, using UHF channel 470-698MHz.

BOCRA will await comments before producing a draft licensing framework. That will be followed by consultations with stakeholders.

"In order to promote service roll out and ensure equity, BOCRA proposes to use an open and transparent method for licensing of all interested providers including the existing broadcasters. Further BOCRA proposes to issue licenses to only locally registered companies," the consultation paper states.

Botswana has opted for the Japanese ISDB-T DTT technology standard, which has also been adopted in Mozambique, DRC, Angola and Zambia.

Botswana, which began digital TV transmissions in 2013, is preparing for the International Telecommunications Union's global deadline for analogue TV switch-off in June 2015.