If the industry has one group punching above its weight, it is DigiTAG. Its latest initiative has been to revise the popular Guide to Digital Switchover to cover the DTT issues around regulation, business and technology facing countries in Africa and near East Asia. Digital switchover is scheduled for 2020.
“The plan is to develop plausible roll out plans for DTT, independent of what technology the nations choose,” said DigiTAG secretary Peter MacAvock. “What we have seen in some African countries, and Kenya is probably most notable, is that where DTT is a success the percentage of DTT receivers rises rapidly and sponsors the emergence of local production and innovative services.
“The big question is when will South Africa eventually launch DTT services? It has been overtaken by countries around it who have given up waiting, but when it launches, it will bring with it a lot of responsibility around the local production of receivers,” he added. “The same goes for other African, and to an extent Asian, nations, where less well developed markets face issues like receiver price sensitivity.” According to MacAvock: “many countries are quickly becoming important multi-platform business hubs.
The main driver is education, in terms of bringing the regulatory community together. These countries sometimes don’t have the experience and expertise of other markets. It is important for them to foster a collaborative process.”