Illegal analogue TV stations spur Vietnam to go digital

The recent burgeoning number of television channels in Vietnam, many of them traditional analogue broadcasters illegally occupying bandwidth without a licence, has fuelled a debate over the Government’s planned analogue-to-digital conversion nationwide.
Recently, the Viet Nam Multimedia Corporation (VTC) was fined for illegally using three frequency bands for its analog TV broadcast without permission from the Ministry of Information and Communications’ Radio Frequency Department. The ministry ordered the broadcaster to shut down three of its channels VTC1, VTC9 and VTC7.

Shortly afterward, HCM City Television (HCTV), which covers the entire city and several neighboring provinces, was also found guilty of the same violation. HTV3, HTV4 and HTV1, three of HCTV’s major channels, are being closed.
The violations were discovered after analogue broadcasts had blocked Binh Phuoc Province Radio and Television Station, a neighbouring licensed broadcaster, from airing. IIt’s high time for us to go digital,” said Nguyen Van Ngo, chairman of the Viet Nam’s Association of Radio and Electronics.

The Government has plans to officially convert broadcasts from analog to digital by 2020, but is considering doing it at an earlier date.