Cameroon not ready for digital switch over – Tchiroma

Issa Tchiroma, goerment spokesman

Issa Tchiroma, goerment spokesman

As the June 17, 2015 deadline for digital switch over narrows down, Issa Tchiroma, Cameroon’s Minister of Communication has said the country is not technically ready to migrate from analog to digital television as prescribed by the international telecommunications union.

He was responding to questions from reporters last Friday. Tchiroma, who had earlier sounded very optimistic that Cameroon was going to effectively go digital by the June deadline, said equipment imported for the project is being blocked at the Douala seaport.

“We have to acquire decoders and regularize some pending hitches for the operation to effectively start,” said Tchiroma. “The migration could as well take place by the end of June but I don’t want you journalists to take on me again when for one reason or the other June goes through without the switch over.” the Minister said.

Acknowledging that though the country is missing out on the deadline, he remains convinced that by early July 2015, Douala and Yaoundé, representing 25 % of Cameroon would go digital.

“ITU has already decided that after that date, those countries that refuse to switch will not be able to receive signals from abroad or their own signals will not be able to be transmitted to neighboring countries because of interference,” Switchover expert, Mathias Nzomba said.

Many experts agree on the need for African countries to eventually migrate to digital technology, but they also say their audiences need to be guided through the process. They suggest the creation of hot lines and help desks as well as massive public awareness campaigns which right now do not exist in Cameroon.

Source: Cameroon Journal

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