THE Government is ready to embark on the implementation process of the digital migration exercise, Information, Broadcasting and Labour Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga has said.
Mr Malupenga said despite the deadlines of 2013 and 2015 as set by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) the Zambian Government was confident the country would switch from analogue to digital television.
Mr Malupenga was speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Shenzhen, China on Saturday evening.
He said though other countries had already started the process, Zambia remained committed to implementing the project as it was intended to benefit the local people.
He said the interactive sessions held with Huawei Technologies Company Limited and ZTE Corporation were an eye opener to the Zambian team describing the sessions as a practical experience.
He said the meetings outlined requirements which Zambia, like other countries, would be expected to follow suit once the project was on course.
Mr Malupenga also described as unfortunate comments made by some members of society who claimed that the Zambian delegation that travelled to China did not engage engineers, saying this was unfortunate and unfounded.
He said the delegation, led by Information Minister Fackson Shamenda included experts such as ZNBC's director of Engineering and Technical Services, Malolela Lusambo, Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority director of Engineering and Technology, Patrick Mutimushi and Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication director, Luwani Soko, who was also digital migration national taskforce chairperson.
And ZNBC Director- General, Chibamba Kanyama said Zambia's digital migration project called for the national broadcaster to be financially sound in order to realise its role in the project.
Mr Kanyama said ZNBC must be engaged in the identification of the equipment that the institution would require with regards to the implementation process of digital television.
And Digital Migration National Task Force chairperson Mr Soko, has commended the Government for the support rendered to allow the team undertake a fact finding mission on Zambia's digital migration project to China.
Meanwhile, Anthony Bwalya, an economist in the investments and debt management department under the Ministry of Finance and National Planning said the ministry was mindful of the kind of financial support that it would require from its partners for the implementation process of the digital migration project.
The members of the Zambian delegation were speaking on Saturday on the conclusion of the five-day Zambia digital migration project fact finding mission to China.
Minister Mr Shamenda led the delegation.
The Information minister undertook the visit to China on digital migration to learn and appreciate the technical and financial capabilities of Huawei Technologies Company Limited and ZTE Corporation.
The two partners are among the other telecommunication companies that are bidding to partner with the Zambian Government to execute the digital terrestrial television migration project.
On the engagement of partners to execute the project, the Government said it would carry out extensive consultations in order to get the best product thereby allowing for transparency and making the process more cost effective.