In an effort to ensure all Ugandan television owners are able to smoothly migrate from analogue to digital broadcasting, the National signal distributor SIGNET has partnered with GOtv and made available for sale thousands of heavily subsidized FTA (Free To Air decoders).
The development comes just days after a UCC directive instructing all FTA television companies to switch off their analogue transmission signals by the 15th of June in preparation for the digital switch over.
Making the announcement at a joint press conference held at UBC offices on Tuesday, SIGNET boss Eng Sam Batanda said the partnership is very significant because “It will allow thousands of Ugandans who want to migrate but cannot afford monthly subscriptions to do so.”
He said the decoders have received Type Approval from the UCC and will be sold for only Shs125,000 (FTA special offer) at the UBC offices and through GOtv and MultiChoice dealers and retail sales network countrywide.
Warning Ugandans who remain skeptical that the country will migrate on time, Eng Batanda stated that “the National Digital Terrestrial Television DTT network infrastructure in the central region where over 70 percent of all televisions are found has already been built and is in the final stages of being tested.”
He added: “This coupled with the private DTT infrastructure being run by pay television companies like GOtv means the entire country is covered by some form of digital signal so there is no reason why we should not migrate come June 17.”
Explaining the reasons why SIGNET chose to partner with GOtv, Eng Batanda reminded the audience that just last week the Minister of finance while reading the national budget said the Migration would be carried out under a PPP arrangement, “so this partnership is an example of that principal in action.”
Discussing his company’s level of readiness, MultiChoice General Manager Charles Hamya noted that they had been preparing for the migration for a very long time.
“Not only have we built the largest DTT network in the country, we have also created the most extensive retail and distribution network with over 1,000 sales points located,” said Hamya.
“I encourage Ugandans to take advantage of this and other promotional offers we have put on the market including the Shs 99,000 DStv special which includes the full kit and one month’s free subscription on the Access bouquet because they are one in a lifetime price specials”.
Speaking about UBC expectations on the post migration broadcasting industry, the Managing Director, Winston Agaba noted that the country stands to benefit tremendously for the opportunities that will come about from the increased availability of bandwidth.
“Digital broadcasting is a high capacity technology that supports a number of differing applications including voice, data and of course imagery. This means companies in the sector will have the opportunity of introducing new services and expanding their product offering,” he stressed.
“This will lead to new revenue streams, employment opportunities and positively boost the entire economy.”
He urged Ugandans to embrace the migration because it represents a major transition to the next level of broadcasting which the entire world is moving to.
The digital migration in Uganda began with the switch off of the analogue signal in the central region on Monday the 15th of June 2015 other regions will be switched off in a phased manner as the National DTT transmission infrastructure is rolled out.
UCC boss Eng Godfrey Mutabazi said the digital transition is unstoppable.