Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, tomorrow will switch off the analogue transmitter in the North-West (NW) Province.
The minister and Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng, the chairman of communications regulator ICASA, will travel to Zeerust in North West to oversee the switching off of the last analogue transmitter in the province.
The event, taking place at the Zeerust Transmitter Site in the Ngaka Modiri Molema
The switching off of the last analogue transmitter in the NW Province will make way for the continued implementation of the digital migration process.
“We are indeed grateful to be part of this important occasion and are in full support of government’s commitment towards the implementation and completion of
the digital migration process,” says Dr Modimoeng.
ICASA has since published the Final Radio Frequency Spectrum Assignment Plan (RFSAP) for the Frequency Band 470 to 694 MHz – providing a plan for the phased approach in implementing the analogue television switch-off into Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) through a Single Frequency Network (SFN).
The RFSAP in this frequency band expedites and fast tracks the implementation of
the DTT, and the concurrent release of the first and second digital dividend spectrum
for the deployment of International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT), to support the
uptake of mobile broadband communications.
Communities urged to combat tower batteries theft
While the country prepares itself towards an improved television broadcast
technology through DTT, the Chairperson of ICASA would also like to address issues
relating to vandalism of the telecommunications infrastructure in the North-West
Province, where batteries are stolen from base stations – resulting in poor or no
telecommunications network coverage in the province.
“While we are working hard to progress, our people are also taking us back through these unacceptable actions or behaviours. This is a serious matter that requires urgent attention because it hampers on ICASA’s ability to fully implement its mandate and vision of building an inclusive digital society, where all South Africans have access to a wide range of communications services at affordable prices,” adds Dr Modimoeng.
The vandalism of the infrastructure and theft of batteries has further resulted in telecommunications companies losing millions of rands in revenue while attempting to protect their infrastructure and keeping the signal or network available to consumers.
The Chairperson urges all communities to stand up and protect this infrastructure by
reporting all illegal or criminal activities to the law enforcement agencies for investigation and possible prosecution.