Rwanda Focus (Kigali)

31 July 2014

Rwanda: Analogue TV Signal Switched Off Countrywide

The Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) has reminded the public that the analogue TV signal will be switched off in the entire country on Friday. This means that all owners of a TV will have to buy decoders.

"In 2008 the government decided to digitalize the whole network of Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (then Orinfor, ed.) following the International Telecommunication Union deadline for analogue-to-digital switchover by June 2015," explained RURA director general Patrick Nyirishema. "The digital coverage is around 95 % of the country while analogue was only 50%."

Since the start of the year, RURA has progressively proceeded with the migration to digital. On January 31, analogue transmitters in Kigali were switched off, while those in the west and south-west were turned off at midnight.

"Due to the time required to import decoders and distribution constraints, we adopted a phase approach for analogue transmitter switch-off", said Jean Baptiste Mutabazi, head of communication of RURA.

Four companies - Tele 10, Sorim, Transafrica and Star Africa Media - fulfill the conditions licensed to import decoders.

Rwanda becomes the second country in mainland Sub-Saharan Africa, after Tanzania, to fully migrate to digital.

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