Ghana and other members of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) signed an agreement in Geneva in 2006, setting 17th June, 2015 as the deadline for all countries inAfrica, Europe and Middle East as well as Russia to migrate to digital terrestrial television broadcasting technology in the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Band. The Agreement set 17th June, 2020 as the deadline for the Very High Frequency (VHF) Band. It is, therefore, mandatory for Ghana and the other countries in the areas specified to migrate.
The main reason for the world’s migration to digital, is to release valuable spectrum which can be used for other services. Spectrum is scarce, therefore more efficient use of the spectrum is necessary if more terrestrial telecommunications and broadcasting services are to be made available. Ghana coordinates its frequency plans with other countries to ensure that there is no interference between various countries’ broadcasting signals. Currently, analogue broadcasting is protected from interference, but this protection will stop by 2017. It is therefore necessary to complete the migration from analogue to digital by 2017.
The migration from analogue to digital television broadcasting would most likely have an impact on almost every citizen of this country considering the pervasiveness of terrestrial TV. It is therefore important that the migration is properly managed to ensure that every Ghanaian who watches TV today is able to continue watching TV in the digital domain.
Justification of DTT
Digital terrestrial television (DTT) offers improved spectrum efficiency compared to analogue TV. It also offers enhanced video and audio quality, interactivity, as well as increased programme choices. The migration from analogue to digital is necessary and urgent for the following reasons:
- To comply with and adopt the tenets of the GE-06 Agreement.
- To rapidly adopt spectrum efficient methods in the management of the scarce RF spectrum to broaden its utility as a resource in the interest and benefit of stakeholders.
- To prevent dumping of obsolete analogue transmission equipment into the country to protect the environment, investors and consumers.
- To enhance the quality and experience of TV viewers in Ghana by improving terrestrial TV transmission and reception.
- To promote environmental sanity through co-location of broadcast transmission infrastructure.