Arusha — THE Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) will be plugging off the analogue television broadcasting system for Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions on the night of March 31st 2013.
TCRA Director of Broadcasting Affairs Mr Habbi Gunze said effective from the 1st of April this year, the entire Northern Zone will be going digital and that won't be an April Fools' Day gimmick, but something for real.
"We are told that Arusha was already prepared for digital immigration because so far, a total of 50,000 digital decoders have been sold here and 10,000 more shipped into the region this week," explained Mr Gunze.
Tanga was the first Northern Zone region to have its analogue TV system switched off last January alongside Dodoma, with the Lake Zone region of Mwanza following in February and now it is the turn for Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions slated for the end of this Month.
Engineer Annette Matinde who is the TCRA Manager in charge of the Northern Zone (Tanga, Arusha, Manyara and Kilimanjaro) said the shift to digital TV was smooth and successful in Tanga region and she expected the same for its Arusha and Kilimanjaro siblings.
The inaugural digital migration debuted on the eve of the New Year 2013; on the 31st December 2012, when TCRA threw into the bin the analogue broadcasting for Dar-es-Salaam City and the corresponding regions.
Tanzania is going to totally burn down the bridge connecting the country and analogue broadcasts by the end of next month; that is on the 30th of April 2013 when the Southern Mbeya region will be plugged off from the old channeling system, ushering in the new digital era.
A number of digital broadcasting companies have so far been licenced to vend decoders as well as sell programmes bur so far it is only Starmedia (Startimes) and (Agape) Ting that have floated their wares in Arusha.